This Chanukah, the Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC) has unrolled a massive holiday contest called “Mega Chanukah”, aimed at motivating Jewish children across the CIS (FSU) to partake in the holiday spirit and also connect with one another.
The project invites youngsters to take pictures of themselves with the lit Chanukah candles and send in the pictures, which are drawn randomly every day for a valuable prize. For those kids, who do not like to leave fate to chance, there is also a prize-filled holiday daily quiz.
“We had two goals in mind for our Mega Chanukah, ” said Sarah Vernick, project coordinator, “The first was to get the children actively involved with this important part of Jewish heritage that the holiday represents. The second was to create a community, so that the children will see that they are not alone, or few, but that there are thousands of children just like them, lighting the menorahs across the FSU.”
So far, over a thousand children registered for the project at its website www.Mega-FJC.com and Vernick expects the number to double towards the end of the week, when the most valuable prizes will be drawn. Every winner gets a Jewish board-game appropriate for their age and a trendy gadget that ranges from smart watches and speakers to selfie-printers and e-books.
Any Jewish child and teenager under the age of 18 can participate, but when Monday’s prize of a water-chargeable watch was won by a young man of 17 from Odessa, he decided to concede the victory to someone younger and picked a small boy from Minsk to receive the gift, Vernick related for a story on holiday-spirit.
The contest is supported by three organizational partners: Or Avner educational institutions, EnerJew youth movement and Darkeinu Jewish studies curriculum. Or Avner placed project information posters in its schools and kindergartens, EnerJew provided internet and social networks support, while Darkeinu was in charge of overall organization. EnerJew will also award a special prize to a photograph of their liking at the end of the contest.