Generous donors help Jewish Family Service assist 229 locals during Hanukkah

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Other News

The boardroom at Jewish Family Service was filled with gifts in December.

Now in its 27th year, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater’s Chanukah Gift program annually helps local Jewish families in financial need with gifts and gift cards for those with children and teens, and with VISA gift cards for those without children.

The community response this year was the most successful since the program began. JFS received donations from individuals, families, groups, companies, organizations, congregations, and schools. Boxes were filled with new clothing, winter coats, boots, shoes, books, games, toys, craft kits, art supplies, school supplies, Judaic decorations, and Hanukkah wrapping paper and decorations.

Students, parents, and teachers from Strelitz International Academy comprised the program’s largest annual group participant—donating hundreds of gifts. Gifts, gift cards, and/or cash donations also came from many area religious schools, temples, and congregations.

This year, a total of 229 local Jewish people (71 children and teens with specific wish lists) benefited from the program. Throughout 2020, these same families will continue to benefit from the Hanukkah donations, as JFS provides gift cards and financial assistance toward rent/mortgage, medication, food, gas, clothing, and school supplies.

How to help local Jewish families in need year-round:
• Donate food, gas, and grocery store gift cards, or cash
• Support JFS special needs group activities
• Donate grocery bags; toiletries, cosmetics, bath and body products; Judaic/Jewish items; school supplies; baby supplies; paper goods; and cleaning/household supplies
• Use Baskets of Hope centerpieces at events
• Volunteer

All donations to Jewish Family Service are tax deductible. For more information about any of these programs, contact Maryann Kettyle, JFS Special Needs Case Manager, at 757-459-4640 or