Amidst a blizzard of Christmas specials, the commercial networks are giving short shrift to Chanukah, so it's up to public television and radio stations to pick up the slack. KCET (PBS, Channel 28) is putting the emphasis on the culinary delights of Chanukah with the following programs:
"New Jewish Cuisine" - Chief Jeffrey Nathan demonstrates his recipes for potato latkes, brisket and challah zeppoles (braided challah). On Tues., Dec. 19, at 3 p.m.
"Home Cooking with Amy Coleman: Chanukah Feast" on Wed., Dec. 20, at 3 p.m.
"Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan: Chanukah - Olive Oil and Freedom" on Wed., Dec. 20, at 3:30 p.m.
On a more spiritual note, rabbi and author Joseph Telushkin will speak on "Moral Imagination" on Thurs., Dec. 21, at 10 p.m.
"Chanukah at Bubbe's" - Puppets visit everyone's favorite grandmother, who relates stories of the Festival of Lights. On Sun., Dec. 24, at 7 a.m.
"The 41st Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration" will pay tribute to the religious holidays of our diverse region. On Sun., Dec. 24, at 3 p.m. and Mon., Dec. 25 at 9 a.m.
Sister station KOCE (Orange and Los Angeles counties) airs "A Chanukah Mitzvah" Fri., Dec. 22, at 4 p.m. In this program, Mitzvah Mouse and his puppet pals David and Rachel of "Alef ... Bet ... Blastoff" fame travel back in time and meet Judah Maccabee.
Chabad will counterprogram Santa Claus with a program on "The Rebbe: A Portrayal of Optimism, Courage and Jewish Survival." On KCOP (Ch. 13), Mon., Dec. 25, at 10:30 p.m.
The Jewish Television Network has scheduled Chanukah-themed programs from now through Dec. 26 at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. over Adelphia cable channels 10, 15 and 20, Time Warner channels 29 and 37, and Media One channel 39. Visit www.jewz.com for more details. Shows include:
"HomeStyles" - Host and Jewish Journal columnist Teresa Strasser comes up with innovative ideas for holiday decorating, chocolate treats, and a new dreidel game.
"New Jewish Cuisine" - see KCET listing.
"A Chanukah Mitzvah" - see KOCE listing.
"92nd Street Y Presents" - Contemporary chamber and choral music on Jewish themes and the premiere of "Chanukah Suite" by Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum.
"Spirit and Song" - A documentary on a national gathering of choral singers joining in a concert of Jewish music, with emphasis on Chanukah and other holidays.
The Nickelodeon and Noggin networks will jointly air "A Walk in Your Shoes" on Sun., Dec. 17, at 6 p.m. Two girls, one Jewish and the other Catholic, "switch" their lives for four days and experience each other's religious observances.
On the radio side, KCRW (89.9 FM), station manager Ruth Seymour will reprise for the 23rd year her three-hour Chanukah tribute, "Philosophers, Fiddlers and Fools" next Friday (Dec. 22), starting at noon. Also touching on the Chanukah theme at KCRW will be "The Loudest Voice" by Grace Paley and read by actress Rhea Perlman, on Dec. 24 at 8:30 p.m. and Dec. 25 at 1:30 p.m.
Check www.npr.org for programs on other public radio stations.