Due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, community rabbis will conduct home visits among the Jewish communities, even before Chanukah. During these visits, they will provide each individual with a dazzling Chanukah kit accompanied by humanitarian aid, to accompany them throughout the eight days of the holiday. The Chief Rabbi and Chabad emissary to Nikolayev shared, “We divided the city into zones using a well-organized system of precise addresses.” Street signs alongside social media campaigns will elevate the visibility of the Chanukah efforts to new heights.”
Nearly two years since the crisis in Ukraine broke out, Jewish communities in the country are gearing up for Chanukah, with a special focus this year on “Publicizing the Miracle” on a grand scale to engage Jews within the communities.
At the forefront of Jewish community efforts, rabbis and Chabad emissaries collaborate hand in hand with the Jewish Relief Network JRNU, providing assistance and encouragement throughout the Jewish life cycle all year round.
As part of the Chanukah preparations, thousands of Ukrainian Jews will receive special kits containing food and sweets, along with humanitarian aid items, a Chanukah menorah, candles, a Chanukah magazine from the worldwide Torah Institute JLI, a children’s booklet from ‘Darkeinu’ and more. Additionally, each package will include ‘Chanukah Gelt’.
Packed and ready for distribution, these packages have already set out towards the Jewish communities.
This year, a special emphasis will be placed on publicizing the miracle, aiming to encourage Ukrainian Jews to light Chanukah candles. The miracle’s publicity will occur through a social media campaign where Jewish families will post pictures of their candle lighting with tagging and will enter a draw for prestigious prizes.
Alongside the social media campaign, billboard advertisements will also be displayed, continuing the tradition from the past years before the crisis era. “The integration of both these approaches will create an atmosphere of one large celebrating community during the Chanukah festival and will encourage Jews from more distant circles to join the existing activities within the community,” explained a JRNU representative.
This year, for the first time since the crisis, processions of cars adorned with colorful Chanukah decorations will take place, bearing Ukrainian language branding.
In most cities, central candlelightings will also be held, with the participation of governors and mayors, under heavy security and with the presence of Jewish community members. Community events will also include solidarity prayers for the Jews in Israel, due to the current situation.
“We have both a central lighting and a festive event in the community,” shared Rabbi Mordechai Levenharz, a Rabbi and Chabad emissary in Kyiv. “Our goal this year is to reach every Jew by conducting home visits before Chanukah and presenting them with the dazzling Chanukah kit.”
The Chief Rabbi and Chabad emissary to Nikolayev Rabbi Shalom Dover Gottlieb mentioned that the Chanukah activities would encompass all age groups. “We are preparing for extensive activities,” he said, “engaging all ages in the community, fascinating and interesting events, both for families and different age groups simultaneously.”
Rabbi Gottlieb added, “We’re organizing home visits, aided by young local Jews. We’ve divided the city into various zones using an organized system of precise addresses, and we’re planning to reach every Jew with a Chanukah kit, ensuring that no member of the community’s home remains unlit for Chanukah.”