Remember the old Jewish holiday joke, “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat”? Hanukkah certainly qualifies—not that we need extra encouragement to enjoy crispy, sizzling latkes and sweet, gooey jelly donuts! But beneath the surface, these eight days are also about faith, hope and the Jewish people’s enduring strength, so let’s celebrate the light in our lives by giving back. These eight organizations are a great place to start!
Spin “gimmel” on combating bigotry on campus
Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) is America’s unified alumni voice on issues of anti-Semitism, demonization of Israel and bigotry. With 39 chapters, ACF positions thousands of alumni on the front lines of key issues at their alma maters, to ensure America’s universities remain a beacon of light, providing open dialogue and equal opportunity for all students.
More than a harmonica for Hanukkah
American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) supports the world-class Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), Israel’s preeminent cultural ambassador. Like the Hanukkah lights, the IPO has been a symbol of hope for the Jewish people since its founding in the 1930s to save the lives of Europe’s Jewish musicians from the Holocaust. Now, the IPO is recognized as one of the world’s foremost orchestras, drawing top conductors and soloists to perform at the most prestigious festivals and cultural capitals around the globe. If you believe music moves the world, say l’chaim to giving to AFIPO’s KeyNote Program, which provides transformative music education to children throughout Israel.
Spread the light of Zionism with Club Z Teens
Club Z is the premier organization cultivating the next generation of proud and articulate Zionist leaders. It connects teens to their Jewish identity, Israel, Zionism and a community of like-minded activists at a key point in their lives. Club Z teens are the modern-day Maccabees, on the front lines defending Israel and bringing the light of Zionism to the Jewish community and beyond.
Presents for the people of Israel
Friends of Yad Sarah supports Yad Sarah, which offers a wide range of solutions to meet some of the most critical needs in Israeli society, from elder care, home health and medical equipment loans, to advocating for disability rights, cultivating volunteerism, and advancing community building. Yad Sarah is a hub of healing, dignity, and opportunity for more than 600,000 people a year, including Holocaust survivors and Builders of Israel—men and women who devoted their lives building the modern Jewish state we know today. A Hanukkah donation would bring help and hope to these heroes!
Read about modern-day miracles in Israel
ISRAEL21c is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization and the publisher of an English-language online news magazine recognized as the single most diverse and reliable source of news and information about 21st-century Israel. Its website offers a vast resource of more than 10,000 originally researched and produced articles, videos, images and blogs by some of Israel’s leading journalists, uncovering the country’s rich and diverse culture, innovative spirit, wide-ranging contributions to humanity and democratic civil society. A nationwide cadre of college-age Digital Ambassadors participate in distributing 21c’s positive content through a variety of social media platforms that focuses on building a broad youth audience.
Support the 21st-century Maccabees
The Maccabee Task Force (MTF) is combating the disturbing spread of anti-Semitism on America’s college campuses and beyond, especially in the form of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. MTF helps students combat this hatred by bringing them cutting-edge strategies along with the significant resources needed to pay for them. Within a few short years, MTF’s efforts have dramatically increased the quantity, quality and effectiveness of campus pro-Israel activities. MTF is empowering today’s Maccabees to train new activists, build new alliances and take back the quad!
Help build a lit global Jewish community
Masa Israel Journey is strengthening the Jewish spirit in Israel and around the world. It provides young Jewish adults, ages 18-30, with unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional development through immersive experiences in Israel. From study abroad, to volunteering, to premier internships—the options for a life-changing journey in Israel are limitless. Since its 2004 founding by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Jewish Agency, Masa has served over 120,000 young people from more than 62 countries. And in doing so, Masa is building a more connected, international Jewish family.
Shining a light on our community with Stand By Me
Stand By Me is a nonprofit organization that provides 24/7 support and services to Israeli-American cancer patients and their families in Los Angeles. The team—Gila Milstein, Batya Levy and Sigal Ankri—and the incredible volunteers become a loving extended family during the darkest times. They stand by parents and siblings of sick children, spouses and kids of sick parents, and patients without families. A full range of services is offered, including psychological counseling, care-giving, transportation, household help, tutoring, meals and more. Stand By Me is lighting up the lives of patients and their families. By supporting them you can, too!