As a response to the massacre of 11 people at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Hanukkah Ally Action is a statement of unity with and support for the Jewish community. We welcome both Jews and allies to join together in showing solidarity.
How To Participate
Jews, allies, and supporters are invited to display a menorah in your window during the month of December in solidarity with the Jewish community. To participate in this Ally Action download the free Hanukkah Ally Action Menorah, print it out, and put it in a visible window during the month of December.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is a Jewish festival of light and freedom. Observed this year from the evening of December 2 through December 9, Hanukkah celebrates the power of a few to stand against institutionalized oppression. The holiday is celebrated by lighting candles held by an eight-branched candelabra known as a menorah. Jews start the first night by lighting one candle (using a helper candle called a “shamash”), and add one candle each successive night until all eight are lit, and the room is filled with the light of hope. Traditionally, Jews place the menorah in a public-facing window so that the message of hope and resistance to oppression is visible to the entire community.
This year, We Stand Together is coordinating this Ally Action to demonstrate our unity in the face of hatred. We invite every household in the community to hang a picture of a menorah in your window as an emblem of support for Jews, who have faced a sharp upturn in anti-Semitic acts and hate speech during the past two years. This Ally Action also provides Jews with the encouragement of their neighbors to stand united and visible despite the tragedy that has impacted the national Jewish community. Courage begets courage, and this action will show all targeted groups that when they are subjected to hate, they can look forward to receiving support.
During a holiday season when many members of the Jewish community feel invisible and may be grieving and feeling frightened following the events in Pittsburgh, this Ally Action provides the entire community with an opportunity to rekindle our commitment to justice and strengthen our solidarity with each other.
Ally Action Inspiration
In 1993, someone threw a brick through the living room window of a Jewish family in Billings, Montana. The window had been decorated for Hanukkah. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The general Billings community was inspired to respond because of a legend about how Denmark supported its Jewish community during World War II.
According to the story, when Nazi occupiers ordered the Danish Jews to attach a yellow Star of David to their clothing so that they could be easily identified, the King of Denmark and many of his non-Jewish subjects took the initiative of wearing the yellow star themselves. Thus, it is said that the Nazis were unable to easily identify the Jews, allowing many Jews to go undetected.
Inspired by this tale, the people of Billings displayed a picture of a menorah in their own windows. In this way they showed their solidarity with the Jews of Billings, and took a stand against anti-Semitic violence.
Read more about this courageous action by the people of Billings, Montana.
Learn the real history of how the Danish people acted in extraordinary ways – although not by wearing the yellow star – to save their Jewish neighbors during the Nazi occupation.