Hanukkah Lights 2018 Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz read a new lineup of Hanukkah stories about magic candles, a view from an old Israeli fortress and a family's Hanukkah spent at Ellis Island.
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Hanukkah Lights 2018

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Hanukkah Lights 2018

Hanukkah Lights 2018

Hanukkah Lights 2018

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Rebecca Siegel/Flickr
Hanukkah Lights
Rebecca Siegel/Flickr

Family, community, faith and strength. Hanukkah commemorates both the rededication of the old temple in Jerusalem and the resilience of the Jewish people. For 28 years, NPR's Hanukkah Lights has celebrated the Festival of Lights with seasonal stories of magic and meaning.

This year, Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz read tales by Lynne Bronstein, R.L. Maizes, Susan J. Gordon, Jennifer Lang and Kate Schmier.


Lynne Bronstein
Courtesy of the artist

'The Magic Candles' by Lynne Bronstein

Poet and journalist Lynne Bronstein grew up in New York City and new lives in L.A. with her four cats. Bronstein writes for local newspapers, gives poetry readings and mentors youth in both fields. In her story "The Magic Candles," a young screenwriter named Jenny rediscovers the spirit of the holiday season.

Listen to 'The Magic Candles'

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R.L. Maizes
Adrianne Mathiowetz/Courtesy of the artist

'Not My Birthday' by R.L. Maizes

R.L. Maizes is the author of an upcoming short story collection titled We Love Anderson Cooper. Her essays and stories have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Lilith, and elsewhere. In her holiday essay "Not My Birthday," she reflects on the importance of identity in the face of persecution.

Listen to 'Not My Birthday'

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Susan J. Gordon
Courtesy of the artist

'Ellis Island Hanukkah' by Susan J. Gordon

New York-based author Susan J. Gordon has written essays, short stories and Wedding Days, a book about influential couples. Her story, "Ellis Island Hanukkah," was inspired by research for her award-winning memoir, Because of Eva: A Jewish Genealogical Journey. The story follows members of a Jewish family as they emigrate from Germany to the United States.

Listen to 'Ellis Island Hanukkah'

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Jennifer Lang
Courtesy of the artist

'The View From Masada' by Jennifer Lang

A San Francisco native, Jennifer Lang now lives and writes in Ra'anana, Israel and serves as Assistant Editor for Brevity, a journal of concise literary nonfiction. In "The View From Masada," a young girl embraces her heritage and comes to terms with her family's traditions.

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Kate Schmier Matthew David Roberts/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Matthew David Roberts/Courtesy of the artist

'Dear Family' by Kate Schmier

Originally from Detroit, Kate Schmier now lives in New York City. Her fiction and nonfiction have recently appeared in Tin House magazine, Apogee Journal, Alma, and elsewhere. Her personal essay, "Dear Family," tells the story of one Jewish family that struggles to maintain their Hanukkah traditions after the death of the family matriarch.

Listen to 'Dear Family'

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