Rokki Parrinello & Mandy Thalhammer
Eight Nights of Giving…
Chanukah reminds us to refocus and think about the freedoms for which the Maccabees fought including the religious freedom to study Torah and to live out its ideals. As a Festival of Giving, Chanukah invites us to share the Light of Torah with by honoring the Jewish obligation of Tzedakah. Each night, after candles and before gifts, participate in one of these eight ways to enhance your Chanukah celebration and make it a joyous Festival of Giving:
- Hold a Gelt Giveaway: Instead of gifts, Jews traditionally gave gelt (small coins) to little children. This year, search the home for loose change in drawers, under couches, in mom or dad’s pockets. Count up the change (add more if you like) and make out a check for that amount to your favorite charitable organization.
- Dine in: Use the money you would spend taking your family out for dinner and donate it to: The Rhea Segal Food Pantry distributes nutritious Kosher food, as well as items that cannot be purchased with food stamps, such as diapers, soap, toilet paper and toothpaste, to 550 families each month. A quarter of those being fed are children. Special food packages are available for clients with other dietary needs, such as infants, the elderly and diabetics. Clients also receive food vouchers, allowing them to shop for fresh produce. More than half of the Food Pantry’s supply of food is donated through an annual community-wide food drive. http://www.arkchicago.org/donate
- Support Fellow Congregants who are Struggling: The Caring Committee at Beth Tikvah assists members in a variety of ways during times of need. This includes: making and delivering meals, offering transportation, helping at a house of shiva, visiting the sick, and so on. When times are tough, we all need communal caring, spirituality and the anchor of Torah to get us through. http://beth-tikvah.org/HouseofCommunity/CaringCommittee.aspx
- Encourage Jewish Social Justice Activism in Washington D.C.: The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in the nation's capital for over 40 years. It has educated and mobilized the American Jewish community on legislative and social concerns as an advocate in the Congress of the United States on issues ranging from Israel and Soviet Jewry to economic justice and civil rights, to international peace and religious liberty. The RAC is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), representing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1,700 Reform rabbis in 900 congregations throughout North America. (Rabbi Kipnes was a legislative assistant at the RAC in 1986.) To donate to the RAC, go to www.rac.org or call 202-387-2800.
Rokki & Mandy