As one Jewish star wrote this holiday season, Hanukkah “hits different this year.” On the one hand, celebrating Jewish pride in an uncomplicated way is such a welcome reprieve. On the other hand, especially for high profile Jews, commenters on social media just won’t let Hanukkah not be about the situation in Israel and Palestine.
Still, more Jewish celebrities than ever took to social media this year to share their holiday candles and light-filled messages. Here’s a not-at-all-comprehensive list of them:
Billy Eichner (and Mariah Carey)
Starting off with my favorite holiday post, Jewish comedian Billy Eichner, who appeared as an elf in the 2020 masterpiece “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special,” gave the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer (and excellent singer of Hanukkah songs) Barbra Streisand’s delightful new autobiography for the holidays.
“For the Queen of Christmas,” he wrote in the book, “a story about the Queen of Hanukkah.”
If that wasn’t enough, Streisand herself commented on Mariah’s post about the present, telling the fellow diva that she hopes she enjoys the book, and adding a heart emoji.
The sweetest Hanukkah greeting on this list is from Jewish actress Marlee Matlin, who signed us all a Happy Hanukkah, and shared the ASL for chocolate gelt, as well as her pure joy in enjoying the Hanukkah treat. And of course, she finished with a signature I love you sign. We love you, Marlee!
Doug Emhoff (and Kamala Harris)
We must include the most high-ranking Jew in America, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, in this list who had not one, not two, but three very special menorahs to light in the Naval Observatory, the traditional residence of the VP: one menorah from the Tree of Light synagogue, one menorah from a Holocaust survivor and coppersmith, Erwin Thierberger, and a third, on loan from the Jewish museum, came from Vienna’s Kahilath Jakob, “one of 60 or so Jewish places of worship in the city to survive the Nazi occupation of Austria,” according to JTA.
Bravo host and amazing Jewish dad Andy Cohen lit the first candle of Hanukkah a day early on his show “Watch What Happens Live” with Beverly Hills “Housewife” Dorit Kemsley.
Unfortunately, the yummiest holiday treat his son Ben ate during Hanukkah was a gingerbread house from Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos that was not meant to be devoured.
Kate Hudson, the daughter of Goldie Hawn who recently shared she felt more Jewish than anything else, posted a sweet video of her lighting the menorah with her two youngest kids, Bingham and Rani. “Connecting to love, light, miracles and peace tonight on the first day of Hanukkah,” she wrote.
On the first night of Hanukkah, Streisand shared the following message on her Instagram stories: “On the first day of Chanukah, I pray for a more peaceful and kinder world where people can live alongside each other in harmony.”
And to that we say amen.
The star of our new favorite Hanukkah Hallmark romance, “Round and Round,” shared that “Hannakah hits different this year,” and boy is he right. Also love the alternative spelling of Hanukkah.
Hannakah hits different this year ✡️🕎
— Bryan Greenberg (@bryangreenberg) December 8, 2023
The cookbook author and influencer who is known for calling out antisemitism on her platform (and being married to Jerry Seinfeld) shared an image of her son holding a dreidel on the fourth night of Hanukkah. “Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating. We cherish all of the light our friends and allies have bestowed on us,” she wrote.
The Facebook founder had a very special Hanukkah this year — it was his wife Pricilla Chan’s first celebration of the holiday since she converted to Judaism, and the first Hanukkah ever for his youngest baby, Aurelia. “The story of Hanukkah is about miracles. May light always overcome darkness,” he shared.
Jewish singer Pink shared an image of her menorah on the first night of Hanukkah, along with a video of her and daughter Willow singing the Hanukkah blessings from last year. She also had some pretty strong words for commenters who told her that celebrating Hanukkah right now is “in poor taste.”
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis
Jewish actress Mila Kunis is not on social media, but her husband Ashton Kutcher shared a picture of their family’s beautiful menorah with oil candles lit with a Santa nutcracker looking on. “We see miracles happen when we make miracles happen for others,” he wrote.
Comedian, writer and actor Julie Klausner shared some of her lovely Jewish jewelry with us, along with a picture of her beautiful electric menorah. “Stay strong, stay bright – you DO have enough oil to last through the end of the year, I promise,” she told her followers. I’m going to choose to believe her!
Messing attended the White House Hanukkah party this year, sharing that it was a whirlwind, and along with pictures from the festivities, sent a message to her “Jewish brothers and sisters.” “We have been here before. For 3000 years we have been hunted down, by countless empires, and we have prevailed. It’s truly a miracle,” she wrote.
Ex husband of Kourtney Kardashian and father of her Jewish children, Scott Disick wished a happy Hanukkah to his fellow Jews with a very nice balloon banner.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis shared a very sweet Hanukkah spread from her newest children’s book “Just One More Sleep” to celebrate the holiday.
Choosing to be as delightful as ever, cooking maven Ina Garten shared her favorite Hanukkah treat: “crispy potato pancakes with smoked salmon, sour cream, and chives. You don’t even have to be Jewish to love it!” she wrote on Instagram.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star shared her menorah on the first night of Hanukkah and rightfully asserted that “we need more miracles.” Amen.
The talented Jewish singer and pianist shared a moving message about miracles, and a pretty excellent Hanukkah tip. She wrote on her Instagram that on this holiday when we celebrate miracles in the past, she celebrates seeing those around her everyday — Jews proudly celebrating their Jewish identity by lighting menorahs at their windows, affixing mezuzahs to their doors and being proudly and overtly Jewish. “In a world that has been attempting to wipe out our religion, culture and bodies for thousands of years – miraculously we are still here,” she wrote.
And, she added, “IF you ever have a day or two when you’re without a menorah- I highly suggest the good ole’ bananakah method. Works every time and makes a great sparkler sound when it burns out.” A banankah is what you think it is, a banana with Hanukkah candles stuck to its flesh to make a makeshift menorah. Spektor shared helpful images of the improvised Jewish candelabra, too.
The Jewish comedian and Netflix rabbi (and Jewish dad!) shared a video of him lighting the first Hanukkah candle and convincing himself that “this is totally as good as Christmas.” Do people get to play with fire at Christmas, Josh?? No, we think not!
The Jewish actress, comedian and singer shared a picture of her menorah lit up for the eighth night. “May the light find the dark places & illuminate them across our weary planet peace for all & I mean everyone,” Berhnahrd wrote on her Instagram.
Not only did the Jewish TV star share a picture of himself in an excellently cheesy Hanukkah sweater (more celebrities in Hanukkah sweaters, please), but his picture of homemade freshly fried latkes got a compliment from none other than Monica Lewinsky. “Those look PERFECT!” she wrote in an Instagram comment. I would print out that screenshot.
Last but not least, we have Mayim Bialik, who shared an abundance of Hanukkah content (and birthday content, too, happy belated birthday to her!). The “Big Bang Theory” and “Jeopardy” star explained why she spells Hanukkah with a “ch” and what the origin of the word is, and shared wisdom about latke frying and her cat menorah. But my favorite video of hers from the holiday is this one in which she’s frying out very lovely looking sufganiyot, because I love the representation of harried mom frying stuff, especially because she talks about how she ran out of oil.