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Jewish celebrities light up Hanukkah

From Daveed Diggs to Andy Cohen, to HAIM and Mayim Bialik, Second Husband Doug Emhoff and Chelsea Handler, famous Jews — and non-Jews — mark the festival of lights

Left to right: Mayim Bialik, HAIM, and Andy Cohen, who all shared photos of their menorahs on social media. (Screenshots from Instagram via JTA)
Left to right: Mayim Bialik, HAIM, and Andy Cohen, who all shared photos of their menorahs on social media. (Screenshots from Instagram via JTA)

JTA Celebrities are just like the rest of us — flooding their social media feeds with candlelight and sizzling latkes on the first night of Hanukkah.

On Sunday night, Jewish stars of the stage, screen and statehouse shared videos of themselves celebrating the beginning of the eight-day holiday. Even some non-Jewish celebrities got in on the action. Here’s what you might have missed.

Daveed Diggs

The “Hamilton” actor and rapper provided the soundtrack to last year’s holiday when he released his instant classic, “Puppy for Hannukah.” This year, Diggs spent the first night of Hanukkah frying up latkes with his mom (with a cartoon Bernie Sanders in the background).

HAIM

The sisters HAIM have turned Hanukkah social media posts into something of an art form, using the eight days to promote new songs. This year, the band posted a video of themselves in menorah headdresses inviting fans to return nightly for “special things.”

HAIM is not the only band turning Hanukkah into a spectacular one. As he did last year, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is spending the holiday releasing covers of songs by Jewish artists, starting with a hard-rock version of Lisa Loeb’s hit song “Stay.”

Joshua Malina

The “West Wing” actor and Jewish Twitter mainstay got in the Hanukkah spirit early this year, preparing latkes on Friday.

Andy Cohen

The Bravo personality and consummate Jewish dad shared a picture of himself staring lovingly at his son — whom he described as having “a nice Semitic head of hair” at birth — while lighting the family menorah.

Mayim Bialik

The Jeopardy host celebrated with a big batch of vegan sufganiyot, the donuts eaten to celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days. She also shared a photo of herself with several lit menorahs on an Instagram page for her podcast, Bialik Breakdown.

Doug Emhoff and US Vice President Kamala Harris

Emhoff posted a picture of himself with Harris lighting a menorah (possibly by Spode) in front of a window. It’s the second time this month that the Second Husband has emphasized the family’s Jewish practices; earlier, he shared that putting up a mezuzah on the vice president’s residence, a first for the country, was a high point of his year.

Chelsea Handler

The Jewish comedian posted a special “cooking” video of herself making challah — part of an extended gag about the limited holiday traditions in her family. “We never celebrated Hanukkah growing up. We lit candles and we got money,” she said, before producing, well, you’ll see.

Non-Jewish celebrities got in on the action, too

Singer Mariah Carey posted a snippet of a video of her teaching a Hanukkah song she said she learned in grade school — she grew up on New York’s Long Island — to two of her young children.

Comedian Tig Notaro didn’t post any pictures from Hanukkah, but she told Ellen Degeneres last week that she planned to light a menorah with her children. No one in the family is Jewish, she said, but her kids learned about Jewish traditions at school — including the one about eight days of presents.

And Trish Paytas, the YouTube personality who ignited a TikTok-sized controversy last year when she began celebrating Hanukkah with her Israeli boyfriend, posted a series of videos from their first night — including one showing off the Hebrew she’s learned over the course of the year and one that showcases her first-night gift haul.

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