Special Event

Hanukkah

Thursday, December 7, 2023
5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Included with General Admission
Add to Calendar 2023-12-07 17:00:00 2023-12-07 22:00:00 Hanukkah 12/07/2023 5–10 pm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA Museum of Fine Arts, Boston tickets@mfa.org America/New_York public

Come together for an evening of art, music, and activities in celebration of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. Be among community, watch performances of music and dance from around the world, see a pop-up photography installation exploring Sephardic traditions, dine on Hanukkah treats, and immerse yourself in the diversity of Jewish culture and identity by exploring the MFA’s new gallery for Judaica.

Presented in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative and Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

Special General Admission and “Sargent” Pricing after 5 pm on December 7

Enjoy $5 minimum, pay-what-you-wish general admission (available in person day of, starting at 5 pm) and $5 minimum, pay-what-you-wish admission to “Fashioned by Sargent” (advance “Sargent” tickets available online now).

Events and Activities

Face Painting

5–8 pm
Sharf Visitor Center 

Wear Hanukkah happiness on your cheek!

Chill Zone

5–8:30pm
Riley Seminar Room

Take a break from all the excitement and read Hanukkah stories in this relaxation space presented by JCC Greater Boston.

Stained Glass Designs 

5–9 pm (last entry 8:45 pm)
Druker Studios, Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art

Discover how light changes color while creating your own “stained glass” design for Hanukkah!

Tu Que Bivas: Photography Pop-Up by Becky Behar

5–9 pm
Gallery 168

Inspired by part of a Sephardic blessing in Ladino that translates to, “May you live, grow, and thrive like a little fish in fresh water,” Tu Que Bivas is a personal journey through photo-based artist Becky Behar’s roots. Behar is a Sephardic Jew, part of the diasporic population expelled from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition in the late 15th century. Her family has migrated to Turkey, then Colombia, and finally to the United States. Throughout, it has maintained Sephardic customs, the Ladino language, and Jewish religion.

This series of photographs explores how Behar’s mother and daughter continue to enact their family’s age-old traditions and rituals today. As she contemplates the different ways of preserving and celebrating history, Behar considers her own relationship to her heritage and the interpretations of it that her daughter carries forward.

Judaica Gallery Sneak Preview

5–10 pm
Gallery 231

Be among the first to see the MFA’s new Judaica gallery, “Intentional Beauty: Jewish Ritual Art from the Collection,” ahead of its December 8 opening.

The Boston Festival of New Jewish Music Presents: Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band and Friends

5:30–6, 6:30–7, and 8–8:30 pm
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band joins forces with top performers from around Boston for a Hanukkah spectacular full of music and dancing. Enjoy popular Hanukkah songs from across the Jewish world—in Yiddish, Ladino, Hebrew, and English—performed by an internationally acclaimed ensemble.

As part of this performance, choreographer Rachel Linsky premieres two new works that fuse contemporary and Yiddish dance. Afterward, join Rachel and dancers in a number of Yiddish folk dances to Hanukkah and Klezmer music. Made possible with additional support from Boston Moving Arts Productions. 

Ira Klein and Beth Bahia Cohen: Conversations with Traditional Music

5:40–6, 7-7:20, and 7:40–8 pm
Gallery 168

Ira Klein (guitar) and Beth Bahia Cohen (violin and yayli tanbur) blend original and traditional music inspired by a variety of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish cultures and contemporary styles.

Welcome Remarks

6:15 pm
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Hear from Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director; Laura Mandel, executive director of Jewish Arts Collaborative; and Marc Baker, president and ceo of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, as they welcome you to the MFA’s Hanukkah celebration.

Dining Specials

Enjoy a two- or three-course prix fixe menu at New American Café inspired by Hanukkah. Looking for a sweet treat for after dinner or anytime? Head to Taste for sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Taste is open until 9 pm on December 7. Dining specials are not kosher. Learn more about dining at MFA Boston.

View Prix Fixe Menu

Wheelchair accessible symbol

Wheelchair accessible

Event Policies

All bags are subject to inspection by Museum staff. Backpacks, large bags, hand sanitizer, liquids, and outside food or drink are not permitted. Exceptions are made for medical or religious needs. All bags are strongly discouraged, and any bags larger than 11” x 15” must be checked in the Coat Room upon entry.

Sponsors

Jewish Arts Collaborative and CJP logos

Hanukkah at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is supported by an anonymous donor. Presented in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP).