I've mentioned before that I grew up in a predominantly Catholic region, but I actually have some experience with Hanukkah! When I was growing up, we lived in an apartment building. For a time, we had Jewish neighbors . I remember going down in our basement and seeing, by their storage area, TONS of gifts. My mom explained to me that they celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas and that they have gifts for eight nights.
Um, excuse me? EIGHT? To this five year-old Gentile, this was horrifyingly unfair news. For a while, I wondered how easy it would be to convert. Just for the gifts. :D
Until about eight years ago, I didn't have much contact with Jewish folks. I stayed in Green Bay for college, and to my knowledge there weren't any Jewish people where I worked. But then I met Brian, who grew up having Jewish friends (in Fond du Lac! SHOCKING!). I can now also count them as dear friends, and I feel totally honored that we are invited to all of the big ceremonies like bris bats, weddings, the Seder, Shabbat, etc. And because of social media like Facebook and Flickr, I'm able to meet people from all over the world, including more Jewish friends. :D
I have a few Hebrew items in my ephemera stash, although not many. But what I do have, I love! Take, for example, this date stamp (in the original box!). If you look closely, the months are in Hebrew! It's not that old - only from the Nineties - but at least in my neck of the woods, it's unusual (and that is the envelope it arrived in - I love it!).
I also have quite a few pages printed in Hebrew, but I don't know what they say. I love the look of the language so I use them a lot in my collages - I hope that I'm not being unknowingly blasphemous!
My Grammie went to Israel in 1979 and brought back a lot of wonderful ephemera. Here are some of the brochures from that trip. My favorite is the "This Week in Israel - Jerusalem" booklet - and tucked inside was this AWESOME receipt for a site that she must've visited! I didn't discover this until just now, when I was taking the photo!! :D
I've made a few collages besides the pendant using Hebrew items - they're fun to do!
So once again, to my Jewish friends - as you kindle the lights of the menorah, may they light your home in peace the whole year through. Happy Hanukkah!