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December 22, 2014 | 30th Kislev 5775
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Mitzvah Projects and Tzedakah Actions for Chanukah

Commemorate Chanukah this year by helping the environment, aiding the poor, supporting our troops, and more.

send an ecardNothing But Nets - This Chanukah, keep your gift-giving budget under control and give the most important gift of all: the gift of life. Teach your children and grandchildren the true meaning of giving by donating a $10 insecticide-treated bed net to Nothing But Nets to help stop the spread of malaria. Download the Chanukah resources packet to get ideas for creating a meaningful holiday celebration.

Ner Shel Tzedakah (Candle of Righteousness) -
A Project for the Sixth Night of Chanukah

Devote the 6th night of Chanukah to learning about the problem of poverty. Donate the value of the gifts (or the gifts themselves) that you would otherwise exchange on that night to organizations that assist the poor.

A Light Among the Nations
If every U.S. household replaced one bulb with a CFL (compact fluorescent light), it would have the same impact as removing 1.3 million cars from the road. Commemorate Chanukah by taking action to address the climate change crisis. This nation-wide campaign is engaging the Jewish community in education, advocacy, and concrete action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Visit the website of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) to find out how you can participate in this important campaign.

Support Our Troops
Are you looking for a way to support Jewish military personnel serving in Iraq and elsewhere, particularly during the Jewish holidays? You still have some time to send them cards and care packages for Chanukah. For information on a number of opportunities for individuals and congregations to offer support to Jewish troops, visit Support Our Soldiers.

Sustaining the Light: A Social Justice Program Guide for Chanukah
A new program guide from the Commission on Social Action that highlights social justice themes of Chanukah -- the environment, economic justice, children’s issues, religious liberty -- and describes the activities that flow from them. In the guide you will find social action program ideas for families, social action committees, youth groups and other synagogue groups. We hope this material will assist you in making your Chanukah observance one that inspires acts of tzedek (justice) and tzedakah (righteousness).


8 Tzedakah Actions for Chanukah
from Commission on Social Action Member, Barbara Lerman-Golomb

  1. Contact a community Toys for Tots program or a local Jewish agency and find out how you can donate a holiday gift. Involve you children so that they can better understand the plight of other children in need.

  2. Donate a can of food to a local food bank or volunteer to help out during the week of Chanukah.

  3. Donate a gently used Judaica item to the World Union for Progressive Judaism (www.wupj.org) for a newly formed Reform synagogue in the Former Soviet Union or other country around the world.

  4. Donate children’s books to a local hospital (www.reachoutandread.org) or donate books of all ages to a local homeless shelter.

  5. Visit the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life’s (www.coejl.org) Hanukkah website for holiday eco tips for giving a gift to the earth through environmental stewardship. You can give a gift to your home such as an energy efficient appliance or a compact fluorescent light bulb.

  6. Visit the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry’s (www.nacoej.org) website for donation ideas such as sponsoring a child’s lunches for the year or the RAC site for Lech Lecha to a Place of Hope—The Million Quarters Project.

  7. Make a donation to Mazon (www.mazon.org) such as 3% of the amount you are spending for a holiday dinner.

  8. Make a chai donation to charitable organization in the name of a family friend or loved one.

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