Dear Friends,

It’s been a whirlwind of a year, leaving us slightly dizzy from so many rapidly unfolding events.  Chanukah, which starts at sundown tonight, is the perfect time to speak of this dizzy state, illustrated by the holiday’s classic symbol, the spinning dreidel.

When the dreidel spins, the Hebrew letters on each side can no longer be seen, they become a blur. Their message only becomes visible when the dreidel stops. As this dizzying year comes to a close, it is now our turn to slow down and refocus, aided by the light of the menorah.  It reminds us that there is always light in every situation. We just need to slow down and refocus to see it properly.

Each act of kindness, grace, and connection removes a bit more darkness. If you are looking for a special way to light up the winter season, JCCA’s E-Store is a wonderful way to help our families get through the next few weeks and months.

With your help and generosity, we’ve proven that we can join together and manage to survive the harshest of conditions. JCCA staff has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, operating a 24/7 residential campus for 200 young people, conducting in-person home visits and safety checks in full PPE, and making sure every child and family in our care has the support, food, and supplies they need.

These are the blessings that come into focus as we celebrate Chanukah. What we have accomplished together is amazing, and it is due in no small part to your support. May it be a winter of total healing and light!

Happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Ilan Ginian

Rabbi Ilan Ginian, MSW

Director, Kesher & Partners in Caring