1. Netanya Carmi says

    We don’t give gifts either. It’s not really a “thing” here in Israel. Instead I spend Chanuka doing mitzva projects with my family. This year we will pick fruits and vegetables for the poor with Leket Israel and pack food for the poor with Pantry Packers.

  2. Danni Franks says

    Staci, you know when they say ‘great minds think alike’. Please check out this Chanukah Campaign that Myisrael (www.myisraelcharity.org) has been running the last three years. It’s all about ‘donating one night of Chanukah’ and sending a gift to someone in need, but in honour of your own loved one. Here is the link to our Chanukah page. Orders can be placed by 20th December and I’d love you to promote this to your followers. Your article is beautiful. The sentiments are totally spot on (in my opinion) and I think Chanukah is such a great opportunity to teach our children and society at large about the importance of giving and thinking of others. It is upon these principals that our campaign is built. Every single penny goes to the projects directly. Take a look http://www.mychanukahgift.myshopify.com. So far we’ve had 442 ‘gift’s ordered with seven days to go. Maybe next year we can do a Canadian version of this?

  3. Louise says

    Our family tradition is to buy a game that we can all play together after candle-lighting. Let’s face it, dreidel gets a old really fast. And as the kids grow, they want new kinds of games. So a new board/card game enriches our family’s supply and sitting down together to play gives us that family together-time while the candles are burning. And it’s one or two games for the whole week, not a new one every night!! When they were younger it was things like “Rat-A-Tat-Cat”, “Pentago”, “Abalone”, “Star Traders”. In recent years we have acquired and enjoyed “Forbidden Island”, “Forbidden Desert”, “Dominion”, “Settlers of Catan” — and then the games continue to be played on long Shabbat afternoons… 🙂

  4. Fran says

    Thank you for your poignant article. As someone who is honoured to carry both a Canadian and Israeli passport I wanted to let you know how much our Chanukah celebrations have altered since we moved from Toronto 17 years ago. Like you, we moved away from the commercial aspects of Chanukah and focused on the essence of Chanukah. This doesn’t mean to say we don’t have fun. We play dreidel, eat “sufganiot” and “latkes” with the best of them but we don’t spend big bucks trying to turn Chanukah into one big shopping extravaganza.

    In terms of organizations that I love to support, Yad Eliezer comes to mind immediately. They are the largest organization in Israel supporting the poor and their Chanukah program helps to combat the “darkness” of poverty during the holiday of lights. http://www.yadeliezer.org/program_info.php?program_id=30

    Chanukah Sameach,

    F. Jakubowicz
    Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel

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