A family's menorah is one of the treasures of the household, a sacred piece that can speak to decades of tradition or a group of people's offbeat and singular sensibility.
There are the classic designs that incorporate a row of candle holders, one for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, and the center candle. And there are the unusual menorahs, the ones that are shaped like prickly pear cactuses or television characters or Statues of Liberty or LEGOs.
The Skirball Cultural Center pauses each year to honor the Lights of Hanukkah with a series of family tours, tours that take in the institution's impressive collection of menorahs. The "stunning display of Hanukkah lamps" is part of the "Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America" exhibit, which celebrates Hanukkah and the "value of religious freedom."
The tours are happening on Thursday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 20, and Sunday, Dec. 21. There's no extra fee to join; your museum admission gets you on the tour, which happens at 12:30 p.m. each of those days.
What to do, where to go and what to see
If you can't make one of those days, "Visions and Values" is an ongoing exhibit.
But if you can? Be sure to make time to visit the Skirball's much-loved-upon Noah's Ark, "the permanent, award-winning children's and family destination that's the talk of the town!" The sweet, animal-lovely area involves rainbow mist arbors, storms, coyote howls, and a conveyor belt that is all about putting animals on the ark, two-by-two.
And "Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood 1933-1950" is on at the center through March 1. "Ninotchka" and "Casablanca" and other films are highlighted (look for special screenings throughout the exhibit's run, too).