JWRP Chanukah Campaign 2015
Here at the JWRP Headquarters, we were inspired by joy of this season to look inward at our organization's values. We carefully selected 8 values that we believe represent JWRP best. We then published each of these values on Facebook for each night. If you didn't catch our Facebook posts, we've compiled our values into the list below. We hope you enjoy it!
In the Middle Ages, Jewish communities celebrated a relatively unknown heroine, Judith, as part of their Chanuka celebrations. Judith singlehandedly defeated the enemy general and spurred the Jews to victory.
Who are the Judiths in your life? Who has inspired you with acts of courage?
Every night of Chanukah we light one more candle to bring more light to the world. We start with 1 on the first night and go up to 8 on the last night (rather than starting with 8 and decreasing to 1) because “we ascend in holiness, and we do not descend.”
What have you done in this past year to increase the light you bring to the world?
It is a custom in some Jewish communities to give children gelt (actual or chocolate coins) on Chanukah. Gelt/ money – who has it, why we don’t have more of it, how we should spend it – occupies a lot of our attention.
What is your relationship to money? What is a way that you have used your money that you are most proud of?
Beautification of a Mitzvah: Hiddur Mitzvah
Jews not only keep the mitzvot – we make them beautiful. This is known as hiddur mitzvah: we make an effort to find the most beautiful etrog, build a beautiful sanctuary, and of course . . . use beautiful menorahs. Here are some of our menorahs (some beautiful and some a little quirky) . . .
Growing up in a small Southern town, I was very aware of my unique Jewish identity, especially around Christmas time. Christmas seemed to follow me everywhere, and I remember being required to decorate Christmas ornaments in school. Nevertheless, the strong Jewish environment I found in my family and my community ensured my dedication to the Jewish people. (Erin Kahal, JWRP Program Manager)
As a parent, how do you equip your children to be prepared to handle a similar challenge?
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov once said, “It is a great mitzvah to be happy always.” During Chanukah, our traditions are designed to increase our happiness. From singing, to playing dreidel, to eating a lot of delicious food, Chanukah is a joyous time to share with loved ones.
Do you have a favorite family Chanukah tradition?
Gratitude: Hakarat Hatov
Every year we stop and remember the miracles of Hanukah, and express our gratitude to God. The blessing we recite on the first night – "shehecheyanu”- reminds us to be aware of all the blessings in our lives.
What are you grateful for?
The Maccabees saw that Jewish tradition was in peril and responded with leadership and dedication by leading a ragtag army against the most powerful army in the world.
What is a crisis you see in the world, and how can you lead others to take responsibility and try to repair the wrong?
We hope you enjoyed our Chanukah Campaign for 2015, and that this holdiay brought light, love and laughter into your home.
The JWRP Team