This Chanukah will be significantly brighter for a group of chayalim, thanks to the donation of a beautiful silver Menorah to an IDF base by the Grade 6 Bat Mitzvah Girls. As part of their yearlong Bat Mitzvah Program, the girls perform Chessed in the community and fundraise for Jewish and non-denominational causes both locally and in Israel.

This afternoon, the young ladies held a fun Bake Day for girls in Grades 1 to 3. For a nominal fee, participants got to bake and decorate cookies under the guidance of the Bat Mitzvah Girls, Program Coordinator Sari Attaeich-Rohr and Elementary Director of Judaic Studies Jordana Levy. The activity’s proceeds will go toward the US $360 purchase of a silver Menorah by Connections Israel, which will be donated to an IDF base in time for Chanukah. Connections Israel is a Jerusalem-based organization dedicated to strengthening relationships between Diaspora Jewry and the IDF while improving the lives of IDF soldiers and improving their morale through a range of programs and sponsorship opportunities.

“At Hebrew Academy, we teach our students the importance of Ahavat Eretz Yisrael,” said Levy. “During this difficult time our students are being taught to daven for the safety of our soldiers who put their lives in danger to protect our country. The Bat Mitzvah Girls take pride in being able to give our chayalim the opportunity to light a Menorah and bring light to everyone during Chanukah. The Hebrew Academy family firmly believes that with our prayers and our Emunah, Hashem will bring safety to Klal Yisrael and light will shine not only for eight days but for always.”

Ben Friedman is the project manager for Connections Israel. He made Aliyah from Long Island, NY, in 2008 and served in the IDF. A chayal boded – a “lone soldier” without relatives in Israel – he remembers how special it was to light his first menorah at his base.

“Our chayalim will be so happy, and their Chanukah will be extra sweet this year, thanks to your Bat Mitzvah Girls’ generous donation,” he said.“They should certainly take pride in this strong gesture of solidarity, Tzedakah, and Ahavat Eretz Yisrael…. I know there will be many smiling, bright faces when we visit our chayalim to deliver your gift…knowing that we have a loving family across the ocean in Canada who care so much about us moves us deeply.”

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