By Debbie Zoller
JFS Executive Director
The highlight of my Chanukah this year was attending Temple Beth El’s ChanuCan Celebration “Recognize the Miracles.” Never before had I realized how much creativity and possibility comes out of a can. Organized by Shari Spark and the religious school of Temple Beth El, this amazing project raised over $7,000, which purchased food to be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank and Jewish Family Service’s Community Food Pantry.
Special thanks to Bernie Schonbach, chief ChanuCan engineer. Bernie worked directly with the religious school classes to talk about how they could create a structure with the donated cans that focuses on miracles. Bernie’s interaction with the builders motivated the kids to be creative. The results were amazing structures.
I was grateful to have the opportunity to talk to the classes about food insufficiency and what it meant that they were giving food to those in need. Each class presented a skit or song about Chanukah and the Junior Choir lead by Cantor Kevin Wartell performed a harmonious melody. It was great to see parents and their children celebrate Chanukah with games and refreshments while also thinking about helping others.
As a recipient of ChanuCan, I am lucky to see how happy the food pantry recipients are when they receive the food. Thank you to everyone at Temple Beth El who participated in this great project. As a result of my experience, I will never think of a can in the same way.