Make this Chanukah one that every Jewish child in Hungary will remember forever

by | Nov 8, 2013 | Featured

The struggling, but brave Jewish families of Budapest, Hungary want to celebrate Chanukah as a community; and like all Jewish parents, they want Chanukah to be a special time for their children.

That is why the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is launching a new 8 Days of Giving online campaign to buy Chanukah gift baskets for hundreds of Jewish children in need. Every donation of $20 buys a special, but simple gift basket of mittens, scarves, sweets and toys.

“They and their children were killed by the Nazis for being Jewish. They and their children were terrorized and arrested by the Communists for more than 50 years for being Jewish. They and their children are currently facing a rising wave of popular and political anti-Semitism for being Jewish. Many families and their children are caught in a terrible nationwide recession facing crippling poverty and despite all of that, they still want to be Jewish and celebrate Chanukah,” says Miles Leon, UJFT president, “and that is why we are conducting the 8 Days of Giving online campaign.”

“We, in the Tidewater Jewish community want to make sure that Chanukah in Budapest is a time that Jewish children will celebrate, enjoy and not easily forget. We do that locally for our children in need through our Jewish Family Service and we want to do the same through the Jaffe Jewish Family Service in Budapest,” says Amy Levy, UJFT Campaign chair and former JFS president.

“Throughout the year, our dollars raised through the annual campaign provide a host of services such as employment, job training, crisis intervention, well baby groups, counseling and emergency food, clothing and shelter to these families through the Jaffe JFS. They even have some funds to have a simple, intimate, but dignified Chanukah and other holiday celebrations. However, they do not have enough to provide gift baskets for all the families and children in need. That is why we are launching the 8 Days of Giving online campaign,” says Linda Spindel, Israel and Overseas chairperson.

“The families were ecstatic and in tears when we told them that the Tidewater Jewish community was buying Chanukah gift baskets for their kids,” says Zoya Shvartzman, director of Strategic Partnerships for the Joint Distribution Committee—Europe which supports the Jaffe JFS.

“Last year was the coldest winter in 100 years for Central Europe,” says Har ry Graber, executive vice-president of the United Jewish F e d e r a t i o n of Tidewater. “Therefore, the scarves and mittens these children receive are critical and the sweets and toys they receive may be gifts that will light up their holiday and their lives. Chanukah is a fun and joyous holiday for us. That’s the Chanukah we want these children to remember and love.”

“The basket will not contain a new iPhone or a new pair of $200 basketball shoes, but it will contain Jewish love, Jewish warmth and greetings from the worldwide Jewish community,” Graber says.

How to help make Chanukah 5774 extraordinary for the Jewish children of Budapest:

Go to and make a donation to buy a special gift basket for Jewish children in Hungary.

Every $20 donation buys one basket that will be given out this Chanukah to each of hundreds of Hungarian Jewish kids in need.

Visit until Dec 5 to make donations and learn more about the children that will be helped by donating.