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What Is Hanukkah? New Bilingual Children's Book Fosters Tolerance & Understanding Through Exposure to Jewish 'Festival of Lights'

Written by veteran educator, Jean Fox, ‘What is Hanukkah?: A Bilingual Children's Storybook’ takes young readers on a journey through thousands of years of history as they explore the origins, traditions and customs of a Jewish holiday celebrated by millions. While Hanukkah is unfamiliar to many outside of the Jewish faith, Fox seeks to teach all children about this global celebration and foster lifelong tolerance and understanding in the process. Written in both English and Spanish, the book is already seeing amazing results from coast to coast.


Sarasota, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/16/2014 -- While fourteen million Jews will celebrate Hanukkah this December, it represents just 0.2% of the population. However, Florida educator Jean Fox is on a mission to put Hanukkah front-and-center in the minds of children across the continent, with her impressive new children’s book.

‘What Is Hanukkah?’ not only introduces young readers to the customs of this lively holiday, but helps children grow into individuals who will exercise lifelong understanding and tolerance for all cultures and religions. Through simple text, fun drawings and stunning photographs, the bilingual English-Spanish books gives children an exciting opportunity to explore a belief system and way of life that is likely radically different to their own.


This book has been created in both, English and Spanish, especially for teachers who want to enlighten their students about other cultures. Tolerance is a trait that all people, young and old, need to embrace. With tolerance comes understanding. With understanding comes peace. Over two thousand years ago, Israel was ruled by the king of a nearby country called Syria. This King, named Antiochus, believed in the Greek religion. He wanted everyone to believe as he did. The Greeks believed in many gods. The Jewish people believed then, and still now, in one God. The Jewish people kept believing and praying the way they wanted. Antiochus became very angry. His soldiers destroyed the Jewish people’s villages and put a statue in their special Temple. In 164 B.C. a small group of Jewish soldiers defeated the Syrian army. After three years of fighting, it was time to rededicate the Holy Temple. Legend has it that when the soldiers rededicated the Temple there was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. A miracle occurred! The oil burned for eight days! Chanukah means dedication. The holiday celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple. It is a Festival of Lights for eight days.

“I’ve been teaching Kindergarten and First-Grade for over a decade. During this time I have become acutely aware that people know very little about Hanukkah,” explains Fox. “So, I decided to teach regular classes about it around my local area. Wanting to now reach as wide an audience as possible, this vital education has been compiled into an entertaining and insightful children’s book.”

Continuing, “But it’s not just out there to raise awareness for Hanukkah. It’s vital that children learn to tolerate and embrace those who are different to them; but getting this point across isn’t easy. I’m trying to expand their cultural awareness through fun facts, information and games. The book even has a “how to” page about playing the Dreidel game and a “how to” page on making an edible menorah – so it has an extremely practical and engaging real-world application.”

Early reviews have been extremely positive. J. Gill comments, “This little book is an absolute delight! I 'hope' it is being placed in every elementary school library as well as in their annual 'book fairs'.”

Critics urge every classroom to feature a copy of the book. To that end, interested parties should purchase their copies as soon as possible.

‘What Is Hanukkah?’, published by BilinguaTec, Inc, is available now: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1503239551.

About Jean Fox
Jean lives in Bradenton, Florida with her husband, Andy. They have two grown daughters, Ashley and Jaclyn. In addition to writing, Jean enjoys exercising, reading and tutoring young children.