In this challenging time, many parents and guardians are looking online for meaningful activities for their children that don’t require too much prep or too many materials. Each weekday on this blog, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will post an activity geared to a range of ages that guide children how to explore heritage, history, and learning through artifacts.
The Liberty Menorah (a gift of Dr. Aaron J. Feingold in honor of Esther and Saul Feingold) is a valued part of the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s collection. Looking at a menorah, an object used for a Jewish holiday, which also includes symbols of America, reminds us that our identities are rich and layered. Bringing all these aspects of our identities together is what makes up our heritage.
Ask your student to view the Liberty Menorah (linked here).
Ask the following questions:
- What holiday is this used for?
- This is a menorah, a special candleholder used for Hanukkah.
- Describe what you notice about it.
- Each candleholder has a Statue of Liberty to hold up the candles.
- What does the Statue of Liberty represent, to immigrants and to all Americans?
- It represents freedom and the promise of America.
- Why would it be used on a menorah, which is for a Jewish holiday?
- Hanukkah and the Statue of Liberty both celebrate freedom. Combining them is way to celebrate being American and Jewish.
- Why is important to celebrate heritage? Are there ways that you celebrate your nationality, as well as your family’s heritage?
This menorah, used to hold candles for celebrating Hanukkah, was created by Manfred Anson in 1985 for the centennial (100th anniversary) of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. It combines Jewish and American themes of freedom and liberty.
Each of the eight branches holds a miniature Statue of Liberty and is inscribed with a major event in Jewish history, including events like the Exodus from Egypt, the Maccabee Revolt led by Judah Maccabee that is commemorated by Hanukkah, and the Holocaust. The center branch reads, “1886-1986” for the centennial of the Statue of Liberty.
We encourage you to share your student’s work with us! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may feature it on our Museum blog!