Shaloh House Students Bring Chanukah to Israeli Soldiers

Armed only with menorahs, candles, jelly donuts & dreidels, 65 young American rabbinical students of Yeshivat Tzeirei HaShluchim in Safed, Israel, visited eight different Israeli army bases during each of the eight nights of Chanukah – bringing a taste of home to even the most remote outposts. (Donuts are a traditional Chanukah treat in Israel).

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The sponsor of this unusual Chanukah celebration was Shaloh House Jewish Day School, whose students donated the funds to buy the hundreds of donuts and menorahs that were delivered to the soldiers.

Rabbi Dan Rodkin said, “Just imagine these lonely soldiers – truly modern-day Maccabees –-- on a six hour night patrol, visited by dancing young Rabbis bringing menorahs, dreidels and treats!”

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“Our children liked the idea of bringing Chanukah to the soldiers guarding Israel’s borders,” said Rodkin. “It was a great morale booster for the soldiers and a meaningful educational project for our children that tied in with the holiday.” He added, “Chanukah is a family holiday, but because the soldiers – many in their teens – must be away from their families, we found a way to bring people together. Donuts unite people,” he smiled.

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Each class in the school has two tzedakah (charity) boxes — one with an American flag on it to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the other with an Israeli flag on it to help Israeli causes. Every day children donate money to both charities. The money for this project came from the 'Israeli' tzedakah boxes.

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