In Judaism, Chanukah embodies the word dedication. Also known as Hanukkah, our eight-day Festival of Lights celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. Along with the festivities, one of the most important things we can do as Jews is to show acts of loving-kindness by making donations for Chanukah.
Chanukah is a Time of Need for Many
While the holiday is linked with joy for many people, it is important to remember to perform mitzvahs for those who are struggling. Chanukah is the perfect time to incorporate Tzedakah during this celebration for our people suffering from food insecurity, medical challenges, bereavement, and more.
A History of a Gift-Giving Tradition
Like many Jewish traditions, the history of Jewish charity can be traced back through the centuries with the practice of gifting Gelt, (money) during Chanukah.
What began as a small token for children, teachers, and the poor evolved into giving chocolate coins and later, gifts. Some even view Gelt as a symbol of our independence and endurance. Today, our Jewish communities in both Israel and abroad mark the occasion by giving these traditional small coins, modest gifts, and donations.
Is it Appropriate to Give Money for Chanukah?
With this history in mind, it is appropriate to get into the spirit of the holiday by giving money during Chanukah. Gelt presented to family and friends is an authentic part of our Jewish tradition and is in line with our beliefs. It’s also a significant gesture to donate money to Jewish charitable organizations in Israel like Colel Chabad, which can help others on your behalf.
Be Inspired to Donate with Colel Chabad
In the centuries-old history of Colel Chabad, there have been many who came before us who have served as guidance on not just how to live but to give. They have donated to charities benefitting orphans and widows or those needing special medical services. We have been inspired by their examples, and try to set our own example by offering a wealth of programs for others who would like to make a donation this holiday season.
Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Tzedakah Fund
The revered Rabbi Meir Baal Haness was known for his generosity and kindness and became a paradigm for charitable giving among the Jewish people. In honor of the kind acts and miracles he performed, Colel Chabad has created a Tzekadah fund in his name. All donations go to support worthy causes like food banks and shelters.
Project ‘Gett Chesed’
The holidays can be an especially lonely time for certain people, like senior citizens, which is why Colel Chabad recommends supporting our Project ‘Gett Chesed.’ It’s designed to alleviate loneliness for those in need by providing hot meals, social interaction, and packages with menorahs and candles during Chanukah. This program also provides essential services like medication, home maintenance, getting groceries, and assisting with physical activities.
Home Heating Program
Every winter, many households in Israel have no heating in their homes and struggle to stay warm. In response to this dire situation, Colel Chabad has created the Home Heating Program. It has a variety of solutions for this challenge which include offering free blankets and warm clothing, fuel and electricity, and assistance getting new heating systems.
Charities that Help Those in Need
Alternatively, you can provide support directly to those in need to help support many groups that need your support, whether it is in support of children’s education, donating to charities that help widows, or joining organizations like ours to fight hunger.
We also have a need, both at home and abroad, for programs that help to support orphans and bolster charities that support children’s healthcare.
With the ongoing events happening in the Middle East, many want to find out how to help Israel now. We urge you to work with reputable organizations like Colel Chabad to make sure your donations have the most impact this holiday season and throughout the year.
Celebrate the Miracle of Chanukah by Giving
As you light the candles of the Menorah this holiday one by one, let it be a reminder of how a single flame can be a miracle and provide light for many. It is the same with Tzedekah, as one simple gift can illuminate the lives of others. If you’ve been searching for a meaningful way to help others this Chanukah, consider making a donation.
Join us during this holy season and give generously to Jewish charities.