A Chanukah “Day of Goodness” at RAJE


 A Chanukah “Day of Goodness” at RAJE: “Good things come in small packages”


We are excited that we just had our “Day of Goodness” on the first night of Chanukah at RAJE in Brighton Beach Brooklyn! We gathered together considerably early for a Sunday at 11am to have some donuts, and learn more about the volunteer work we were going to start off this special day with.

However, giving back to others wasn’t the whole purpose of the day. We also wanted to give to our own “neshama” (jewish soul), by learning more about Chanukah and experiencing it together. We were privileged to hear a shiur from Rabbi Shully Boteach, and light our menorahs together at RAJE headquarters as a community, or rather a Jewish family.

Our volunteer activity, and our speaker Rabbi Boteach, really got us to feel, not just the party part, but more importantly the spirituality aspect of Chanukah so that we would be in the right mood when we lit the menorah together.

 In preparing to volunteer, Elisheva Lock from the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island told us that delivering little boxes of chocolate to the Holocaust survivors was like the miracle of Chanukah. We learned that just like the two miracles of Chanukah were made by a “small” flask of oil, and the war was won by a “small” group of Jews versus a large group of Greeks, so to our small little chocolate boxes we will deliver to these survivors will make a big impact for them and for us as well!

One of the RAJE members called out, “the lesson of Chanukah then is that good things come in small packages,” and everyone laughed.

Mike Kasayev, Eleonora Tamayeva, Bertha PInkhasova, and Diana Shalmiyeva went out of their way to make sure one of the Holocaust survivor couples, Joe and Blanche Hecht, who weren’t on the package list, that they knew from the last volunteer day, got a visit and even made sure to bring them a bottle of wine!

Another survivor wanted one of the RAJE guys to come to him, because they already formed a deep bond, but thankfully this young man is already learning in Israel now at Aish Hatorah in Yerushalayim.

All the RAJE members were amazing in this special RAJE Chanukah Day of Goodness, whether it was delivering packages to Holocaust survivors, or striving to learn more about Chanukah and Yiddishkeit in honor of Chanukah.

May Hashem continue to help our important community organization called RAJE, to grow and do even more good!

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