“Hope4Hanukkah” 2014

Candles, which quantity is increasing day by day, the aroma of potato pancakes and donuts, small gifts, hopes, dreams, miracles … Return to childhood … Hanukkah …
Wonderful holiday, fun for children and adults, the opportunity to spend time with friends, have fun, to fulfill the commandment, to make a gift …
This is exactly what happens when you are healthy and young, full of strength and hopes, when you still believe that just now something magically wonderful is going to happen, when you realize that in fact, thanks to G-d, miracles happen in our everyday life.
And what happens to those who are lonely and weak, to those who are slaves of their four walls are not due to their own will, with those who are doomed to pain and loneliness by fate or by force of circumstances, to those who celebrated Hanukkah in early childhood, and now cannot even recollect the name of this holiday.
A year ago the Ukrainian Union of Jewish Students (UUJS) and ACF “To You” (2U) joined an international charity event “Hope4Hanukkah” initiated by World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS)
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United by the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, on December 1, 2013 young Jewish people were spread all over the city of Kiev, to light the 5th Hanukkah candle – a special candle in the homes of elderly Nazi victims. Youth brought famous donuts, Hanukkah kits and refreshments.
This year we have decided that candles in the houses of the impoverished lonely community members who are thirsty for communication, should be lighted every day of Channukah.
That is why we held a charity Chanukah evening and lit the second candle on December 17, 2014 at the restaurant “NOR” at National opera theatre. Frankly speaking, the organizers were a bit worried, because we are not accustomed to participate in charity events and choices are great (every day different organizations hold Chanukah parties). However, when guests started to appear we stopped to worry just for a while and then a new wave of worries covered us as the hall was overcrowded. Quite obvious Channukah miracle took place.
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Festive mood, friendly atmosphere, donuts, delicious snacks and kosher wine, Chanukah quiz, dance and toasts, unforgettable singer’s voice and wonderful melodies made the evening memorable and gave us the opportunity to realize our dream.
In the end of the evening Ukrainian Union of Jewish Students (UUJS) Chairperson and WUJS Executive Member Victoria Godik thanked all those who took part in the project last year and those who managed to light the first and the second candles this year in the frame of our project at homes of the people with special needs. ACF 2U Board Chair Julia Goldenberg congratulated all those who were present with Chanukah and wished all of them not to face solitude both in everyday life and holidays.

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Thus, thanks to the indifferent young people candles were lit on a daily basis. This year guys brought Chanukah kits and warm goods, because Ukraine is experiencing hard times, centralized heating is not perfect, and a warm blanket or heater can save a person’s health and return this person to a dignified life.
Pictures will show what was going on the charitable event and at homes of those who were visited. Tears welling up when we looked into the eyes of those whom we attended.

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“You’ve returned me to my childhood. You are Chanukah miracle, which I had not hoped to face. I am more than 80 and I have nobody all over the world,” Faina said and her voice was trembling when she was looking at the light of the 6th candle or to put it in the correct way at light of 7 candles lighted in her new Chanukia.
“My home has never heard a child’s voice as unfortunately I have no kids but yesterday your volunteer Mikhail came to visit me with his 12 year old son Fedor. They brought me a winter blanket and lighted the 6th Chanukah candle. They told me it was the 6th candle. I don’t know, I really don’t know what I shall thank you for first – for the so needed warm blanket or for the possibility to hear child’s laugh in my flat and Canukah light, which did give me a hope,” Ludmila said having called ACF 2U next day early in the morning. “You have changed my life, I will always remember that!”
This year due to our project “Hope4Hanukkah” Chanukah candles lighted homes and soles of more than 100 Jewish families in the city of Kiev.
Hope to continue next year!

#Hope4Hanukah #UUJS #2U #WUJS #Ukraine

Newspaper “Evreiskie Vesti” №1 2015