“Festival of Lights Shines a Light on the Youth”

DV Chanukah Party 2010 001 DV Chanukah Party 2010 007

Chanukah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem as well as the miracle of the oil. On the 25th day of Kislev, which may occur at any time from late November to late December, the festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a nine-branched menorah and it celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, and of spirituality over materiality.

Chanukah customs include eating traditional fried foods on this holiday because of the significance of oil to the holiday. Foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (donuts) are enjoyed. Games such as playing with the dreidel are a significant pastime. The giving of Chanukah gelt to children reinforces the custom to give gelt (money) to children, so that we can teach them to give some of it to charity—and just to keep things festive and happy!

In the spirit of charity, volunteers from our MVP group hosted a Chanukah Party and Cheers for Volunteers event for families affected by domestic violence. It was well attended by over 20 clients and 16 volunteers from the community. Our volunteers assisted with activities such as arts and crafts, dreidel games, sports games, and distributed chocolate gelt and Chanukah toys to the children.

Providing opportunities through our youth enrichment projects allows our volunteers to make an impact, engage and instruct children, as well as have fun! Our volunteers brought innovation and grassroots changes to an already existing program by showing up and being role models to the clients. After the event, the volunteers went out for drinks.

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