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.

Special Events

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.

ASL Interpreted

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.

Art-Making Activities

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.

Menorah Monoprints

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.

ASL Interpreted
7–8 pm

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 Rabbi

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.

ASL Interpreted
5:30 pm

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.

ASL only; no spoken English

Spotlight Talks

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.

ASL Interpreted
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

Dining Options

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.

Bravo $$$

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.

Additional Information


The MFA is committed to accessibility for all visitors. For information, visit Accessibility, e-mail access@mfa.org, 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.