Thursday, December 22, 2011


HANUKKAH 2011/5772, third night
LIGHTING UP THE WORLD (thanks to Peter Himmelman and David Broza)
This Festival of Lights is about shining light in places of darkness, bringing compassion into the world, and sharing love. The word "Hanukkah" itself of course means "dedication." How do we demonstrate our dedication to those causes we support? By volunteering, participating, and yes by contributing funds as well. Hanukkah always falls toward the end of the secular calendar year - when some of us think of "year end" charitable donations. Now is as good time as any to donate to the Jewish institutions, agencies and programs that enrich our lives - and especially to those that are shaping the experiences of the next generation. On this third eve of the holiday, as we enjoy exchanging gifts and the joy of the season, consider also - wherever possible - an additional generous contribution to your synagogue, community center, Jewish camps and schools, and the national organizations on which we rely throughout the year(s).
Three specific suggestions come to mind:
1. Make a gift to the campership fund of URJ's Olin-Sang-Ruby camp (OSRUI can be reached at; this will assist additional children attend and benefit from the strength of Reform Jewish summer camping.
2. Support the newly launched Campaign for Youth Engagement of the URJ (; this movement-wide initiative is aiming at joining together the arms of Reform Judaism to develop and enhance our ability to engage and cultivate the next generation of American Jews.
3. Donate to YOUR local syangogue! I know that any congregation will appreciate whatever you are able to provide - which will help further the ability to serve the community through education, worship, and caring outreach on every level. For example, you can reach Temple Beth-El of South Bend, IN at, (574) 234-4402.
Give from your heart - gifts that truly keep on giving!

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