On Sunday, December 6, more than 60 people participated in the annual JFCS Family Mitzvah Event to celebrate to Chanukah, while performing meaningful mitzvot.
This year, parents and children started the event by helping to unload a borrowed truck full of wrapped “Hanukah Helper” gifts. Each child “adopted” by someone in the community received an 18-gallon tub full of wonderful gifts. Volunteers organized tubs in the JFCS Board Room.
“Our distribution system is organized strictly by numbers and no names of these individuals are shared with the community,” stated Judy Freundlich Tiell, JFCS executive director. Tiell also explained to the youngsters that 39 Jewish children were adopted for Chanukah this year, and that by helping to unload the truck and get the gifts in numerical order, they were truly doing “good deeds or mitzvahs.”
“A special thank you goes to all of the wonderful and loyal volunteers at Temple Shalom who have worked diligently making this adoption program possible for 20 years,” said Tiell.
In a separate room, other families organized Chanukah food packages. Each “Hanukah Helper” family received applesauce, latke mix, bags of chocolate gelt, Chanukah candles, Shabbat candles and a Chanukah decoration. A few of the new families also received new menorahs.
“This is really a double Mitzvah,” stated Tiell, “because all of this Chanukah food was donated to this agency for this very event, and now young children are creating Chanukah gifts for entire families.”
In addition, many children went to the arts and crafts room, where they made Chanukah decorations for Four Courts.
Beth Salaman, chair of the JFCS Family Mitzvah Committee, was very pleased with the turnout and the end results. “It was a lovely afternoon” she said, “and we were able to truly give back to this community.”