Olive Oil Press & Menorah Building



The Show
- What did the original Menorah really look like in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem ?
- How was it lit? What really is Shemen Zayit Zach?
- Is it really just the first drop that comes form the olive?
- How did the Maccabees of old make olive oil for the Golden Menorah?
- The Olive Oil Press Workshop answers all these questions and many more.

Our current workshop demonstrates, with the help of participants, the process the Maccabees used to refine Olive Oil for the Menorah in the Chanukah story. Students sort and hand-press fresh olives in an old fashioned olive press made of wood and cast iron, then decant the olive juice with a modern centrifuge to quickly extract the pure olive oil - authentic "Shemen Zayit Zach. As the olive oil is refined, the students hand spin wicks out of cotton and then light the Chanukah Menorah with the resulting oil. Concepts like the reason for using olive oil in modern day Chanukiyot and the proper lighting of the Chanukah Menorah is discussed and demonstarted.

At the conclusion, each class assembles a Chanukiah kit that produces a close replica of the Beit HaMikdash Menorah.

This dynamic hands-on activity is in high demand before and during Chanukah. Numerous schools and educational institutions have found that students get involved, young and old gain a personal and meaningful appreciation of the message and observance of Chanukah. A great way to prepare students for the holidays!

Presentation Duration:
45 min - 1 hr.

Audience size:
Standard presentation: up to 60
Under 3rd Grade: up to 40

Age group:
1st grade and up:
The Olive Oil Press: can be modified to be presented to audiences from the very young to the young at heart.
Do It Yourself Workshop: Eight and up. Limited by safety considerations, maturity level, and manual dexterity of the participants.


After the Olive Oil workshop, students can construct their own beautiful Chanukiah to take home with the hardwood Chanukah Menorah kit. This kit makes a beautiful 14 inch Menorah out of solid hardwood with brass finish cups for oil decanters or candles. The kit is easy to assemble with no sawing, no glue, no nails, or experience required. All tools and materials are provided in the workshop and with this user-friendly kit, everyone is going to make a masterpiece, guaranteed!

This hands-on interactive program, adds excitement to any institution's Jewish curriculum regardless of affiliation, background or location and gives participants a personal and meaningful appreciation of the Chanukah experience.

Suggested minimum age: 8 and up
Duration: 45 min - 1 hr.
Maximum suggested participants per session: 40

To the Organizer:
The Traditional Crafts of the Jewish People workshop sessions are the perfect opportunity to invite parents to participate in these educational hands-on programs for a generation connecting experience.



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