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Your Hanukkah soundtrack is on WRTI featuring beloved specials and more!

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The eight-day holiday of Hanukkah begins at sundown on Dec. 18 and ends at sundown on Dec. 26.

Join us to experience the uplifting music of the Jewish Festival Lights. We have a wonderful lineup of music planned and, of course, our yearly broadcasts of Hanukkah specials starting on Sunday, Dec. 18, the first night of Hanukkah.

All of our holiday music is made possible by listeners like you — and your support now is absolutely essential to keep the music playing in 2023. Make your year-end gift to WRTI today!


Dec. 18, 4 to 5 p.m.
Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party

Itzhak Perlman invites you to his Chanukah Radio Party. Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Festival of Lights, and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday – some serious, some silly. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Chanukah gems by American folk singers. The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Chanukah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel. A good time for the whole family, at Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party!

Dec. 18, 5 to 6 p.m.
Candles Burning Brightly

A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate Hanukkah! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Hanukkah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home. APM’s Mindy Ratner hosts.

Dec. 18, 6 to 7 p.m. on WRTI HD-2
The Western Wind: Chanukkah In Story & Song 

The acclaimed vocal sextet and the renowned actor Leonard Nimoy present 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and their original version of “I Have a Little Dreydle.” The singers sing a cappella and are also joined by instruments including violin, accordion, bass and guitar. The narration written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik sheds light on the holiday customs and rituals.

Dec, 19, 9 to 10 p.m. on WRTI HD-2
A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago A Capella 

Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts. Familiar tunes include "I Have a Little Dreidel" (both in its original Yiddish form and in a neo-funk Hebrew/English setting), a swing version of "S'vivon" by Steve Barnett, and a lively setting of the traditional melody for "Al-Hanissim" ("For the Miracles") by Elliot Levine. Heartfelt original compositions by American and British composers provide added depth of expression to celebrating the holiday. Such works include "Lo Yisa Goy," a plea for peace by Stacy Garrop; Bob Applebaum's stirring new version of "Haneirot Halalu"; and movements from the majestic "Hallel Suite" by London-based Daniel Tunkel.

Starting on Dec. 16 during Classical hours, you'll also hear music for Hanukkah by David Ludwig Serkin, Rachel van Voorhees, Leo Low, Herbert Fromm, Hugo Adler, Stephen Schwartz, and ensembles including Choral Arts Philadelphia, Chicago A Capella, Carolina Chamber Chorale, Rochester Singers, and Essential Voices USA.