Hanukkah should be recognized more at NDB


The Catalyst / Dayna

Lighting the menorah is a ritual to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah.

Although NDB is mindful of inclusivity, the school should still make more progress in acknowledging Hanukkah just as much as Christmas.

Since Christmas is one of the most important holidays for Catholics, NDB decorates the campus and holds Christmas-themed events throughout the month of December. For many students, especially those who are Catholic, this builds anticipation for December 25 and allows them to be completely consumed in the Christmas spirit. However, tigers who are Jewish do not experience this same anticipation and celebration for Hannukah. Most years, Hanukkah is actively happening while students are focusing on Christmas. This can leave many of them feeling overlooked and less excited about their holiday tradition. 

Each holiday is not just about the presents or food associated with it; it is about the culture, tradition and values it is rooted in. Just as Catholic students want to take this time to remember the story of Jesus’ birth and ideals of peace and joy, Jewish students want to commemorate the historic miracle of the menorah’s oil and their subsequent gratefulness. Not only should they be encouraged to celebrate this on campus, but other students should be encouraged to as well, for the whole community can benefit from learning about Hanukkah. 

Communities are able to become more connected through the celebration of multiple holidays. Understanding another person’s culture enables one to relate to them on a deeper level.  All religions should be at least fundamentally understood by students, for it makes our community feel more unified. This is why NDB students are required to take a religion course for all four years in order to graduate. In World Religions, for example, students learn about various religions ranging from Islam to Judaism, which broadens our perspective on the beliefs of others and allows us to reflect on religious diversity. 

Being Jewish myself, I think NDB needs to spread greater awareness of this holiday and not let Christmas outshine all the other holidays that fall during the same season. To ensure that Jewish students at NDB feel valued and recognized, I believe it is necessary to make Hanukkah as equally anticipated as Christmas. This can be done by hosting educational activities on campus and incorporating the origins and traditions of the holiday into morning prayer during the eight days of Hannukah. In order to fully embrace the gift of diversity outlined in Hallmark four, NDB should take further steps to ensure that Hannakuh receives proper celebration and that Jewish students feel recognized and full of spirit during the holiday season.