By Andrea Weinberger, President
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay…you know the rest. The letters on the dreidel – nun, gimel, hay and shin – remind us that “a great miracle happened there.” As we prepare for Chanukah, many of us will take out dreidels and menorahs to help us remember the miracle and to join with family in celebration. Some families will take out a special latke plate or a family recipe that’s been handed down for generations. There’s a reason we eat latkes and sufganiyot on Hanukkah: the oil they’re made with commemorates the miracle that the menorah burned for eight full days.
Miracles surround us every day and I am fortunate to see my fair share in my role as President of the Jewish Federation of Rockland County. I saw a miracle when I reconnected with Jay at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Washington D.C. on November 10. Many years ago I helped a friend organize blood testing to register bone marrow donors. Back then it was not the simple cheek swab it is today. His friend desperately needed a transplant. Jay was that friend and the recipient of a bone marrow transplant that saved his life. Now Jay runs the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry, dedicating his life to registering more donors to create miracles for others.
You can see miracles here in Rockland thanks to the impactful work of Federation. Holocaust survivors living below the poverty line are receiving assistance to live their lives with dignity. The Federation’s RUSH (Responding to Urgent Needs of Survivors of the Holocaust) initiative has begun to provide Life Alerts and service for 18 Survivors. Federation’s PJ Library continues to connect young Jewish families to our greater community by sending books monthly to 550 children and by engaging them in meaningful programs.
When you support Federation, you help create Chanukah miracles all over the world. Whether it’s helping tens of thousands who seek refuge from war and anti-Semitism find a place in Israeli society, or bringing food and medicine to elderly in Ukraine, you can make a difference.
Think about the difference you want to make this year – the gift, the miracle you can give others. By giving generously, you have the ability to help make a miracle happen. It’s the perfect gift and you don’t even need to wrap it.
Wishing you and your families a Happy Chanukah! Chag Sameach.