Shana Tova U’metukah
Shana Tova U’metukah

November 25, 2021

As the days grow shorter and darker, it's time to come together around the Chanukah lights, spin the dreidel, eat latkes and donuts, and share in the joy of the holiday with family and friends. Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, which starts at sundown this Sunday, is a celebration with ancient roots that marks the miraculous events that took place over 2,000 years ago.

Through the story of Chanukah, we learn how the Maccabees overcame the odds and rose up united to stand for their community. We also learn of the miracle of a small amount of oil giving light for eight days, which has remained a sustaining symbol of hope and joy for our communities throughout the world.

This year once again, YOU are the miracle in our Chanukah story.

Through the darkest days of the past year, your incredible generosity and kindness allowed us to be the light for so many in our community.  You helped us put food on the table for our most vulnerable, send children to Jewish day school and camp, meet the needs of our Holocaust survivors, and care for the elderly and the isolated. In difficult times, you rose up united to ensure that Federation CJA can continue to serve as a beacon of light for the community.

As Jewish people, our freedom, our comfort, and our security are routinely tested. The story of the Maccabees and their victory over tyranny was the first battle for religious tolerance in our people's history. Sadly, this battle is still being fought right here in our own backyards. This past May, when a wave of anti-Jewish hatred spread across our community and our physical safety was threatened—just as the Maccabees had the courage to stand up and fight for their beliefs—you helped us unite together, speak out, and protect our community in the face of rising antisemitism. Through your support, we pushed back against this wave of antisemitism, ensured our community felt safe, and brought light back to the community.

Chanukah is also a time of giving and tikkun olam. We've demonstrated that we are a community that is strengthened by our shared commitment to repairing the world, and we are a community that has continued to ensure that no one is ever left behind. Your unwavering support fuels our collective efforts to help all Jews—ensuring their wellbeing, peace, and security—wherever they are in the world. It is the strength and commitment of our community that allow us to make these miracles possible and we will continue to spread light to our global Jewish community, in times of crisis and beyond.

Chanukah teaches us the importance of unity, standing with your community, and the miracles that can happen when you do. Chanukah also teaches us that, candle by candle, we can overcome darkness. Your acts of kindness, compassion, and generosity remove a bit more darkness and bring light and comfort to our community. On this holiday, we are reminded that even in our darkest and most difficult moments, there is light, there is hope, and there is a brighter tomorrow that lies ahead.

This year, for eight nights, we will light the Chanukah candles, and we will remember that our incredible community has enabled us to overcome the odds. For eight nights, we will remember that thanks to your generosity and kindness, we can, and we will continue to, rise up and be the light our community needs.

I wish you and your families the same comfort, joy, and light that you provided so many others throughout the year.

Chag Chanukah Sameach!

Yair Szlak, LL.B
Chief Executive Officer,
Federation CJA

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