Family Workshop - December 14, 2008

Olive Press Photos 2007



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.

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 30

Under 3rd Grade: up to 20

Age group:
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.