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Hanukkah on WRKF

Hanukkah candles, credit: slgckgc/Flickr

Join WRKF as we celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights with holiday programming exploring culture, ritual, community, language, music, and tradition. We begin with the first night of Hanukkah on Saturday, December 18th, and we conclude with further examination of faith and tradition on the final night of Hanukkah, Sunday, December 25th.

For details on more of our holiday programming, find information on our Christmas weekend specials here or our Kwanzaa programming here.

First night: December 18th

The Yiddish Radio Project Holiday Special
Sunday, December 18 at 5pm

All that survives from the "golden age" of Yiddish radio in the 1930s to the 1950s are a thousand fragile discs, rescued from storerooms, attics, and even dumpsters. But what a story they tell!

Yiddish radio built a community and restored heritage to Eastern European Jews. This holiday special is a celebration of these archival recordings and of the forgotten geniuses and dreamers who created them. Voices from the past are clear and present, providing a taste of how Yiddish culture was transmitted: immediate, raw, unprocessed, and unselfconscious. This program is based on the acclaimed ten-part All Things Considered series.

Candles Burning Brightly
Sunday, December 18 at 7pm

A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights. Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home. Musical selections in Ladino, Hebrew, and English.

Featured Performers:

  • Yales Strom’s Broken Consort
  • Musicians of the New England Conservatory
  • Actor Theodore Bikel
  • Divahn
  • Essential Voices USA
  • Voice of the Turtle
  • Western Wind Vocal Ensemble
  • Zamir Chorale of Boston

Final night: December 25th

Portraits of Faith
Sunday, December 25 at 5pm

Nine people of nine different faiths and philosophies attempt to answer a deceptively simple question: What does it mean to you to believe?

Criss-crossing the city of Baltimore, we meet with nine people of nine different faiths, asking them each a set of identical questions about what it means for them to 'believe.' We talk with an Orthodox Muslim, a Buddhist monk, a Christian minister, a Jewish cantor, an atheist, a Quaker, a United Methodist/Episcopalian, a Catholic, and a Keetowah Cherokee. They all speak eloquently about how their beliefs give them strength and comfort, and also about how those beliefs can sometimes give way to doubt when tested, showing us the incredible amount of common ground that exists beneath the religious differences that often seem to divide us.

The Kabbalah of Chanukah
Sunday, December 25 at 6pm

Join us to hear mystical tales, teachings, and Jewish sacred music from around the world in this inspirational program for the Festival of Lights.

A jazz-virtuoso cantor and a kabbalistic psychotherapist bring their respective talents together, to provide new inspiration for Chanukah. Weaving a tapestry of tales and teachings from the Kabbalah together with sacred music from around the world, this dynamic duo reveals some of the hidden treasures of this ancient spiritual tradition.

An Open Gate: Jewish Culture in the Light of the World
Sunday, December 25 at 7pm

An hour-long audio documentary exploring the repercussions of a Jewish/Christian intermarriage on faith, identity and the family.

What happens to the children when Jews and Christians marry? This program explores this question with humor and sensitivity. Jews and Christians speak about growing up within their faith and how intermarriage has redefined their perspective. Interfaith couples grapple with the challenge of celebrating holidays as a family as they attempt to instill a sense of religion, community and holiday spirit.

This program also digs deep into the historical underpinnings of these two religions, exploring Jewish fears of Christian anti-Semitism and Christian desires to share Jesus' love with people they care about. As couples in this program struggle with these questions, they shed light on the broader issues we all face in trying to preserve our own culture while becoming part of the global village.

Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is Newscast Editor for the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom. Adam is also the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.