Celebrate Hanukkah with a Tour of ‘8 Nights, 8 Windows’ Art Displays

They make up Boston's first Jewish public art project.
8 nights 8 windows hanukkah boston

Illustration provided

To celebrate Hanukkah this year, windows at eight establishments throughout Boston will be illuminated with installations by local artists—one to represent each night of the Festival of Lights.

“8 Nights, 8 Windows” is the city’s first Jewish public art project, organized by the New Center for Arts and Culture and Combined Jewish Philanthropies in partnership with the Boston Jewish Music Festival and the Boston Jewish Film Festival.

Traditionally, the Jewish community celebrates Hanukkah by lighting the menorah, one candle a day for eight days, to honor the miracle of light, which dates back to when the Maccabees reclaimed Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple with a single canister of oil that unexpectedly burned for eight days.

Inspired by this origin story, the public art project called for artists to submit proposals for installations that tell stories of miracle, illumination, and innovation.

The final projects, which were selected by a jury of notable curators, arts leaders, and arts practitioners, incorporate everything from holographic laser projections to videos to mini lanterns. One installation, on view at Roche Bros. in Downtown Crossing, promises to grow in brightness and vibrancy with each night of Hanukkah.

A bonus ninth window, at Fire + Ice on Berkeley Street, will feature a stained glass-like community installation made up of flames created by local children with the help of artist Tova Speter. Following Hanukkah, the installation will travel to Temple Israel, where it will be on display in the new year.

Speter will also host an event on Monday, December 7, where she’ll invite the public to contribute to her lantern installation at Pavement Coffeehouse. Other events hosted as part of “8 Nights, 8 Windows” include a fifth night celebration with wine, cheese, and jelly donuts at Boomerangs Special Edition on Thursday, December 10, and an artist discussion at the West End Museum on Friday, December 11.

Additionally, on Wednesday, December 9, the Museum of Fine Arts will host its second annual Hanukkah celebration, featuring a large-scale menorah by local artist Hilary Zelson, musical performances, short film screenings, and a virtual reality art installation called “Between Lands.”

In conjunction with Hanukkah, “8 Nights, 8 Windows” kicks off on Sunday, December 6, continuing through Monday, December 14. Plan your own tour of the installations with the map below:

For more information, visit 8nights8windows.com.


Olga Khvan Olga Khvan, Assistant Digital Editor at Boston Magazine olga.v.khvan@gmail.com


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