- Rebecca Rubin
- Mama Rubin
- Rose Krensky
- Louis Rubin
- Sadie and Sophie Rubin
- Victor Rubin
- Benny Rubin
- Bubbie Shereshevsky
- Grandpa Shereshevsky
- Miss Maloney
- Lucy Valenti
- Gertie Lowenstein
- Leonardo Rossi
Chapter by Chapter Summary
Chapter One: A Holiday Project
Chapter Three: Minding Miss Maloney
Chapter Four: A Perfect Present
Looking Back: Hanukkah in 1914
Discusses the holiday season and Hanukkah celebrations during the 1910s. Topics covered:
- Struggles immigrants faced in trying to preserve their own customs and beliefs while they adapted to the traditions of America.
- The status of Christmas being the biggest holiday of the year, as well as its growing view as a national holiday rather than just a Christian one.
- Ways schools celebrated Christmas, as many teachers believed that it would help the immigrant children become more like other Americans.
- Differing viewpoints immigrant families had on celebrating non-Jewish holidays, with many believing that they didn't need to celebrate religious holidays that were not a part of their traditions.
- The story of Hanukkah, an eight-day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Jewish Second Temple following the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the 2nd century BCE
- The celebration the Jews' triumph by lighting candles or oil in menorahs for eight days, as well eating fried foods to remind them of the oil that lasted for eight days.
- Differences between how Russian and American Jews celebrated Hanukkah, with many Jews from other countries viewing Hanukkah as a minor holiday.
- The growth of Hanukkah in America due to greater religious freedom, leading to the holiday being celebrated by family gatherings and gift giving.
- Rising popularity of department stores during the 1910s, leading to both Christmas and Hanukkah becoming bigger holidays with an increase in gift shopping.
Items Associated with Candlelight for Rebecca
- Hanukkah in 1914 started on the evening of December 12, which was a Saturday. Candlelight for Rebecca ends on the evening of December 11, which was a Friday.
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