Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Celebrating our own festival of light in the UK

This year's campaign poster
This Hanukkah, eight Jewish schools across the UK, with a total of some 2,000 students, have been marking the Festival of Light by participating in the second Keren Malki "Donate-a-Doughnut" Campaign.

The activity has been designed to encourage schoolchildren to perform the mitzvah ("good deed") of giving tzedakah (a charitable donation) in a fun and engaging way. Each child was sent home with a fun-shaped doughnut leaflet on which they can stick a coin. Each coin will help lighten up the life of a child with disabilities, in Israel.

Nicole Gordon, UK Development Director for the Malki Foundation, visited each of the schools before the onset of Hannukah, which this year began on December 16.

Children and staff at the schools were inspired by the project in their own distinctive ways. The children were excited at the prospect of their class collecting the most coins and winning the school doughnut party. The teachers were inspired by the lesson for their pupils in helping others less fortunate than themselves at a time of year when they were being indulged.

Hanukkah candlabrum
At Moriah Jewish Day School in Pinner (in suburban Middlesex, on the edge of London, for non-UK readers), the winning Year 4 class literally cheered with excitement from the playground as Nicole arrived at the school with the winner’s box of doughnuts. Orah Soller, acting Head of Jewish Studies, told us "The children have been beyond excited with the doughnut campaign. The combination of learning and fun made the project a perfect one for us to be involved in this Hanukkah. Next year, I will be encouraging a number of other Jewish primary schools in which I am involved to participate."

To date, the Donate-a-Doughnut effort, which was supported with an advertising campaign in selected Jewish newspapers, has raised several thousand pounds. We hope to see the number grow, since some schools, owing to the winter holidays, will not be able to give over their final numbers until early January.

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