Lyfta storyworld: Hanukkah in LA - USA

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In this storyworld we meet Mackie and her family as they celebrate Hanukkah in Los Angeles, California. Learn about this special festival of light and see how her family and many other Jewish families spend this period sharing Jewish-inspired and Chinese food. Join the family in making traditional latkes and explore the famous and less well-known places of Los Angeles.
Hanukkah in LA - Lyfta storyworld trailer
Happy Hanukkah

Step inside the home of Mackie where she and her family are enjoying Hanukkah celebrations. Watch Mackie and her family celebrate their baby’s ‘first Hanukkah’. Find out about the traditions associated with this special time of year and how food, games, gift-giving and the lighting of the Menorah are important parts of a Hanukkah celebration.

A shared love of food

Every year during Hanukkah and the festive season, thousands of Jewish people across America eat Chinese food. This is a tradition that began over 100 years ago in New York City where Jewish and Chinese immigrants lived close to each other and Chinese restaurants were the only places open at Christmas and close enough to kosher.

We visit the busy Yang Chow restaurant where Jewish families queue for hours to eat their delicious chicken fried rice and slippery shrimp. Students can explore the busy kitchen at Yang Chow using our interactive 360° space.

This is actually the last restaurant we ate at prior to the pandemic and the first restaurant we came back to, to eat, was Yang Chow again.

Jewish family eating at Yang Chow in LA
Los Angeles
Los Angeles: City of angels

Students can explore the sunny and vibrant city of Los Angeles, California. While LA is most famous for its movie industries, beaches and landscapes, it is also a city of incredible human diversity with millions of people and a huge range of cultures, making it a fascinating place to explore. 

Discover some of the challenges of living in a global city like Los Angeles such as traffic and pollution. Learn how the city’s residents, or “Angelenos”, cope with living in a region prone to earthquakes and how they are prepared to keep as safe as possible.

Mackie and her mom at home preparing traditional latkes
Fried Rice and Latkes

Mackie and her family eat homemade latkes with a Chinese take-away meal. Latkes, special potato pancakes, cooked in oil to symbolise the miracle of Hanukkah, are a popular treat during Hanukkah. In this storyworld students will learn how to make delicious latkes, step by step and also how to make a typical Chinese dish, vegetable fried rice.

Mackie’s family Christmas takeaway order served with homemade latkes:

  • 1 crispy beef
  • 1 crispy chicken
  • 1 chicken lo mein
  • 1 hot and sour soup
  • 1 sweet and sour chicken
Hanukkah in LA - at a glance
Rich media articles covering:
  • Hanukkah - all about Hanukkah
  • Latkes recipe - how to make them
  • LA: City of angels, Pt.1 
  • LA: City of angels, Pt.2
  • Vegetable fried rice recipe
Lesson and assembly plans to be included with this storyworld:

Lyfta live lessons

Why not join us and schools from across the UK and beyond for an exciting shared Lyfta experience where we will be exploring this storyworld further. Entitled Festive traditions: Hanukkah in LA we are running live lessons on 6th and 7th December that will have a festive theme, ideal for the run up to the end of term! During the live lesson students will have the opportunity to discuss and share their own family traditions for the festive season, and learn more about how others around the world celebrate. Find out more and book your place.

You can also read more about Hanukkah and ideas of ways to celebrate in the classroom in our blog: Faith Celebrations - Hanukkah

Faith & Worldviews