Be the Light!

One for each night, they shed a sweet light to remind us of days long ago …

We are reminded of days not so long ago when antisemitism was less prevalent. While antisemitism has been on the rise in the United States, focusing on the digitization of this vile prejudice is essential to stopping the spread of it.

We must continue to be vigilant. Through the Shine a Light initiative, we and our partner the Jewish Federation of North America draw on the inspiration of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, to encourage Jews and allies to speak up and send a message that antisemitism, in all its modern forms, won’t be tolerated in our communities. Shine a Light is a comprehensive initiative to spotlight the dangers of antisemitism through education, community partnerships, workplace engagement and community advocacy.

Antisemitism is a societal problem. Tolerating, minimizing or denying it allows hatred, scapegoating and conspiratorial thinking to erode our democracy. Effectively countering antisemitism requires all of us to speak up.

As we approach Chanukah, we hope you will participate with our community as we join others by taking pictures of your family/friends proudly lighting the chanukiah (Chanukah candelabra) candles and sharing the photos with us. The national Jewish Federation, in turn, will highlight the photos as part of a national initiative. We will also have resources available with action steps to stand up against antisemitism. Please watch for more information so that you, too, can Shine a Light!

In addition, you are the light for your family and friends. You help them in times of need and comfort them in times of uncertainty. As we get ready to celebrate Chanukah, you can be that light for your extended Jewish family as well — including the individuals and families who urgently need your help now more than ever locally, in Israel and in 70 countries around the world. I encourage you to be a light for those who thought they’d never have to rely on others for assistance.

Federation-supported initiatives help make the world a better and brighter place, made possible by community efforts and donations. From caring for those in need to inspiring the next generation of young leaders, our Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs showcases the many ways that Federation-backed programming, and our community members, bring light to the world. Through our work together, we can shed a sweet light.

Through initiatives like the Jewish Family Service (JFS) programming celebrating 50 years, the Jewish Day School (JDS) 69th Evening of Tribute and Jewish Community Center (JCC) enhanced programming, we continue to work hard to bring light to our community and to stay connected to provide community support to one another.

This Chanukah, we ask you, our generous community members, to add your light by making a generous gift to the Federation. Through our 2023 Campaign for Jewish Needs, funds are provided to help our local agencies and synagogues with much-needed resources and for:

Caring for those in need:

  • Providing food for those in need
  • Counseling for families in crisis
  • Supporting services for older adults
  • Helping disabled individuals and their families

Building a vibrant Jewish community:

  • Encouraging young readers — PJ Library
  • Making Jewish education and camp affordable
  • Teaching teens to stand up for Israel
  • Connecting people to their heritage

Bringing people together:

  • Providing volunteer opportunities to help others
  • Traveling to Israel on missions
  • Supporting our Partnership2Gether family, Yoav
  • Creating lasting friendships

Responding to emergencies:

  • Providing relief from Israel to Ukraine, and when local disaster strikes

This Chanukah, you are a light that heals. You are a light that brings relief in times of need. Thank you in advance for your generosity and for being the light that helps us to be Here for Good.

Chag Urim Sameach!