65 B.C. The Maccabees are driving the Greeks out of Israel. A temple, desecrated by the invaders, has been liberated and needs to be cleansed. There is only enough oil to keep the temple lamp burning for one day - but, miraculously, the lamp keeps burning for eight days, long enough to set everything right.
Hanukah, the feast of lights, commemorates that miracle - and at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville (5125 Montrose Rd.) you can join in a traditional Hanukah celebration Sunday afternoon. Starting at 2 o'clock, you and your children can learn how to make menorahs and how to make dreidles (the four-sided tops that kids spin for prizes); you can eat potato latkes (often described as potato pancakes, which is like calling caviar fish eggs); and you can see a play called "Happy Chanukah, Charlie Brown," which will tell you about the holiday. At 5 o'clock, the center's menorah will be lit from a torch raced out from the Israeli embassy by members of the youth assembly. Admission is free, everyone's welcome, and there's a nominal charge for the play and the latkes.
At American University's Kay Spiritual Life Center, there's a Jewish Folk Art Festival Sunday, sponsored by Hillel Foundation Fabrangan Organization and Kosher Kitchen. Register at 12:30 for workshops in dance, music, literature, film, arts and crafts (calligraphy, pottery, needlepoint). Fee for all workshops, $1. In the evening there'll be a concert of bluegrass merged with Hassidic or traditional melodies - $2.50 admission - with a Hanukah celebration by children of Fabrangan school afterward.