Chanukah in Safed

Things to do in Zefat this Chanuka

If you’re looking for a fun yet meaningful Chanukah experience, head to Zefat – The Mystical City and take your pick of any of the engaging and interactive options.


Zefat – Public Candle-Lighting Ceremonies


You can join the Tzfat municipality for public candle-lighting ceremonies with local organizations and agencies. Call 1-800-800-106 for details.


1.       Every night of Chanukah Young Chabad’s annual candle-lighting ceremonies will be taking place near Bank HaPoalim on Jerusalem Street.


2.       On Monday night, the 3rd night of Chanukah — Dec 10th  2012 — at 17:00, public candle-lighting will be held at the Tzfat College, Jerusalem Street


3.       On Tuesday night, the 4th night of Chanukah — December 11th 2012  


a.        Youth groups of Tzfat will be lighting at 18:30 at Saraya/Wolfson Center


b.       The Mercaz HaTzirim will hold a candle-lighting at 17:00 on HaNasi Street


4.       On Wednesday night, the 5th night of Chanukah — December 12th 2012


a.        The residents of the Akim sheltered workshop will be lighting at 15:30 at the Bloom Center in Southern Safed


b.       Pensioners will be lighting at 17:00 at the Yigal Alon Center


c.        The public is invited to a lighting at 19:00 at the Khan of the White Donkey


5.       On Thursday night, the 6th night of Chanukah, December 13th 2012, new Ethiopian immigrants will be lighting with the management and representatives of the community and the municipality at the Cana’an Ethiopian Absorption Centers, next to the police station. Lighting is at 17:00.


HaMeiri Museum

When you visit the HaMeiri Museum you will have an opportunity to learn about the life of Safed’s Jews under Turkish and British rule. The museum is one of the few places in Israel where you can see authentic artifacts of the 1800s and early 1900s while learning about the stories of the community and individuals who lived in the city. During Chanukah you can join one of the museum’s tours which run several times each day, at no additional cost.


Shvil HaLev

A Safed Lights tour with Shvil HaLev — Path of the Heart  employs music and storytelling to present the Safed experience in an engaging and entertaining way You can join an evening Chanukah Lights tour on any night where you’ll enjoy a guided musical tour while viewing the menorahs of the city’s residents which are displayed in windows and doorways throughout the lanes and alleys of the Old Jewish Quarter. The Chanukah Lights tour includes stories of Safed’s legends and Chanukah tales as well as a group candle-lighting experience. For reservations call Meir at 050-7505695


Dairies of Safed

According to a Talmudic source Yehudit — Judith — was a young woman from the city of Bethulia during the Assyrian rule of Israel. She seduced  Holofernes, a general, by feeding him cheese dishes which made him sleepy. When  Holofernes fell asleep Yehudit decapitated him and brought his head back to Bethulia to rally the townspeople to resist the occupation. To commemorate Yehudith’s act many Jews observe the custom of eating cheese dishes during Chanukah. Two dairies in Safed are open where you can drop in and observe the cheese-making process. You can find samples of the sheep and goats milk products available and buy any of the cheeses or other produces right at the dairy.  

1.       The HaMeiri Dairy produces its sheep milk cheeses from the milk of free-grazing sheep. According to the HaMeiri family the sheep nibble on the herbs and plants of the Safed mountainside and are milked to the accompaniment of soothing music. This, according to the HaMeiris, explains the delicate texture and exquisite taste of the HaMeiri cheeses. On Keren HaYesod Street the HaMeiri Lookout. The HaMeiri dairy suggests that visitors call before they arrive to ascertain when the dairy is actually producing the cheeses. (052) 372-1609 

2.       Kadosh Dairy was established over 100 years ago by the Kadoshes, a Moroccan family which arrived in Tzfat after having walked from Morocco. The family dairy has been oerating ever since. Kadosh makes both goat and sheep cheeses, labane (a creamy, salty spread with the consistency of yogurt), ice cream and home-cured olives. Chairs and tables are available for visitors who want to enjoy a “laffa” bread with the labana spread, the cheeses or some goatss milk ice cream.  Should call first to find out when they’re making the cheeses. (04) 692-0326


If you’re looking for specific Chanukah activities, go to the Ascent Institute on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th nights of Chanukah for candle-lighting ceremonies, jam sessions, donut making, meditation and a walking tour of the Chanukah lights which are displayed I windows and doorways throughout the city. Cost is 100 shekels per person which includes all activities including accommodations at the hostel, according to availability. There is a 15% discount for online registration.  


Khan of the White Donkey

The Khan of the White Donkey is recognized as the spot for unique musical experiences and their Chanukah concert, with Jah Bless and his Roots Reggae band is indicative of the type of high energy performance that can be found at the Khan.  The concert takes place on the 6th night of Chanukah, December 13, 2012. Doors open at 8:30p.m. Jah Bless is a popular Israeli musician and his unique style of music shouldn’t be missed. Entrance is 50 shekels. Food and drinks are served at the bar/restaurant (dairy, kosher, no Kashruth certification).


Kabbalah Center

The International Center of Tzfat Kabbalah offers a Chanukah Lights tour of the Old Jewish Quarter every evening during Chanukah. You’ll walk through the alleyways of the Old City and see the menorahs which burn in each home’s windows and doorways. The tour includes a full tour of Tzfat, klezmer music, a movie about Kabbalah and Tzfat and a candle-lighting ceremony.




Whether you’re religiously observant, moderately so or not at all you’ll enjoy the Hallel service at Tzfat’s Carlebach synagogues. Hallel is the prayer of thanksgiving which is recited each morning of Chanukah during morning prayers. The Beirav follow the tradition of Shlomo Carlebach in which Hallel is sung with musical instruments. Hallel prayers generally begin at about 8:30a.m. and you can come and go as you wish which makes this an easy and engaging service for kids and adults alike. You can bring our own musical instrument and join in as well.


Play ‘n Clay and Pottery Shop

If you’re looking for an indoor activity or simply want to participate in Tzfat’s artist atmosphere and do something creative, the Play ‘n Clay Pottery Shop provides a fun experience which is suitable for individuals, adults, families and children of any age. You’ll have an opportunity to mold clay by hand or work on the pottery wheel to create menorahs, dreidels or any other item that interests you. The Pottery shop requests that you call for an appointment. (052)344-5019


In the Quiet Space

 In the Quiet Space presents a spiritual-behavioral workshop is becoming popular throughout the world. The “MicroCalming” technique enables participants to learn a conditioned relaxation technique that, once learned, will accompany them through stressful situations during the years to come. The Hanukah Workshop “An Experience of Quiet and Light” brings the spirituality of the Chanukah message to channel the light which illuminates the path to individual Blessings. For more information contact Peter 054-4957528.


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