Welcome to an evening celebrating Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights. Enjoy an array of musical performances, engaging tours, and family-friendly activities. Explore works of Judaica, view a one-of-a-kind menorah, and join a community candle lighting. All events are free.
Welcome and Community Candle Lighting
6:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Join Ann and Graham Gund Director Matthew Teitelbaum for welcome remarks, followed by community blessings by Rabbi Jillian Cameron, director, InterFaith Family/Boston; and Laura Conrad Mandel, executive director of the Jewish Arts Collaborative. Yehuda Yaakov, Consul General of Israel to New England, and Neil Wallack, chair of the board, CJP illuminate the artist-made menorah, marking the second night of Hanukkah.
Face Painting and Coloring
4:30–6:30 pm, Cohen Galleria 163
Wear your Hanukkah happiness on your cheek and sing it loud for all to hear! Choose a design and an artist will paint the image on your face! And pick up a coloring sheet with lyrics to the Hebrew poem “Ma’oz Tzur” which is sung after the illumination of Hanukkah lights.
Face painting hosted by The Vilna Shul; first come, first served. “Ma’oz Tzur” lyrics provided by JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School.
Menorah Installation: Ziv
4–10 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
View Ziv (splendor in Hebrew), a large-scale artist-made menorah celebrating the miracle and traditions of Hanukkah. Ziv was created by Somerville-based artist Ariel Basson Freiberg and evokes designs from ancient ceramic oil lamps.
On view through December 31.
The Search for Light
4:30–9 pm, Gallery 168
Pick up a family-friendly scavenger hunt and explore the galleries looking for art connecting to Hanukkah. When you’ve found all three objects, return to Gallery 168 to join artist Tova Speter—founder of The MEM Project—to create your own keepsake lantern inspired by art you discovered.
4:30–9 pm, Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 159
Look at menorahs in the MFA’s collection for inspiration. Then sketch and make an ink print of a menorah.
Drawing in the Galleries
6–9 pm, Gallery 171
Get drawing tips and ideas from an artist as you sketch from a live model and objects in the galleries.
Music and Storytelling
Family Song and Story Time
Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 160
4:30–5:30 pm | PJ Library with Stephen Brickman
5:30–6:15 pm | Ladino with Sarah Aroeste
PJ Library hosts Hanukkah singing, and Stephen Brickman, founder of the Sing-Together Project, gets everybody involved in an interactive reading.
Award-winning Ladino musician and author Sarah Aroeste reads her bilingual children’s book Ora de Despertar (Time to Wake Up) and performs songs. Recommended for young children. Space is limited; first come, first served.
Book of J
5:30–6, 7:15–7:45, and 8:15–8:45 pm, Gallery 268
Acoustic duo Jewlia Eisenberg (Charming Hostess) and Jeremiah Lockwood (Sway Machinery, Balkan Beat Box) come together as Book of J—where old-time religion meets social justice.
6:45–7:15 pm, 7:45–8:15 pm, and 8:30–9 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Ilene Stahl and Klezperanto re-groove traditional klezmer and Mediterranean melodies, rip up Romanian surf tunes, cover cop show themes and cumbias, slay a few standards, burnishing it all to a funky finish. Who knows how they’ll treat a favorite Hanukkah tune.
Wandering from 7–9 pm, Art of the Americas Wing
It’s story time for adults when MOTH champion, Rabbi Dan Judson weaves his magic as he wanders the Museum. Planned stops at 7:15 pm in Gallery 133, at 7:45 pm in Gallery 226, and at 8:15 pm in Gallery 332.
Tours and Talks
Meet the Artist
5, 5:30, and 6 pm, Gallery 258
Join artist Cynthia Eid for a 15-minute talk about her creative work as a jeweler/silversmith and the MFA’s recent acquisition of her Miriam’s Cup. A ritual object placed on the Passover Seder table, the Miriam’s Cup celebrates Miriam, a prophetess and leader of the Israelites, and serves as recognition to the importance of women in Judaism.
American Sign Language Tour
7 pm, Meet at the Sharf Visitor Center
Join Patrick McCarthy and Betsey Kaplan to learn about works of Judaica in the MFA’s collection. No spoken English translation.
6, 7, 7:30 and 8 pm, Galleries 127, 142, 222, and 334
Drop in to enjoy an exploration of the MFA’s collection of Judaica as well as works of art with intriguing stories related to the immigration and assimilation of Jews in the US. Visit any of the galleries listed, at the times listed, for one of these 15-minute talks.
8 pm in Galleries 127 and 142
Artist Toolbox Cart
5:30–8:30 pm, Galleries 250 and 254
Discover techniques and handle the tools artists use; view demonstration pieces right in the galleries and hear from knowledgable staff.
Judaica in the Galleries
Visit the following locations to further explore Jewish art and culture.
Art of the Americas, Galleries 127 and 336; Art of the Americas, Galleries 127 and 336; Musical Instruments Gallery 103D; Jewelry Gallery 104; Art of Europe, Gallery 142; Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, Gallery 258
Taste Café and Wine Bar $
Open until 9 pm, Linde Family Wing, Level 1
Coffee, espresso, tea, wine, sandwiches, salads, and festive Hanukkah-inspired pastries. Additional seating on Level G in the Garden Cafeteria.
New American Café $$
Open until 8 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Tableside service. Choose from hot and cold small plates including latkes, entrées, and salads.
5:30–8:30 pm, Linde Family Wing, Level 2
Seasonally inspired cuisine and impeccable service enhance this sophisticated dining experience. Bravo accepts reservations at Opentable or by calling 617-369-3474.
After 5 pm, Bravo dinner guests receive complimentary parking in the MFA’s garage.
The MFA is committed to accessibility for all visitors. For information, visit Accessibility, e-mail email@example.com, or call 617-267-9300 or 617-369-3188 (TTY). Wheelchairs and walkers are available at all entrances, first come, first served.
Tickets are required for free Museum admission, available at all ticket desks.
Mark Your Calendar
December Vacation Week: New Years around the World
Tuesday–Sunday, December 26–31, 2017
10 am–4 pm (to 8 pm on Wed)
Lunar New Year
Saturday, February 10, 2018
10 am–5 pm
Hanukkah at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is presented in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP).
Support provided by the Consulate General of Israel to New England and by an anonymous donor.