This Chanukah, Give Your Gelt to Good

in Life, Culture & Sports

Three young Jews decided they were tired of getting tchotchkes for Chanukah, and are now inspiring people worldwide to use their ‘gelt’ for more than gifts. Donate the 8th is rallying Jews worldwide to host Chanukah gatherings and to choose a good cause to contribute to, instead of buying others useless gifts.

The annual Donate the 8th campaign aims to give back to the communities and organizations that spark individual interest and increase the light in the world. The idea focuses on donating the money one would spend on a Chanukah gift, and inspires one to give to a good cause instead. The campaign also encourages individuals to host Chanukah gatherings as a way to create a more widespread positive impact and to foster a sense of community during holiday time.

While the campaign name spouts about the 8th night, Chanukah gatherings can be held any night of the holiday. The Donate the 8th website also provides a free, downloadable toolkit with all the resources needed to host a gathering. The toolkit includes suggestions from how to choose a charity to event hosting tips and timelines, games and kids’ activities, and even a foolproof latke recipe from a beloved Jewish grandmother.

Donate the 8th is an idea developed by 3 friends, J. Wallace Skelton, S. Bear Bergman and Jen Goldberg. The idea is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, an organization who invests in young Jewish leaders repairing the world with strong moral values and innovative ideas. If you or someone you know is interested in donating the 8th in your community, visit the website here.

Based in the startup city of Tel Aviv, Zo Flamenbaum is a writer and social entrepreneur who dedicates her time to mission-driven projects that empower connection between the many diverse layers of our world. In 2014, she founded School of Shine as a value-based educational space for women who are tired of the ‘default life’ and crave personal freedom through self-expression for more purposeful living.

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