Diaspora Jewish Student Unions Bring Hope for Hanukkah

Diaspora Jewish student unions raised over $7,000 in foreign donations to buy Hanukkah toys and gifts for children in southern Israel.

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Chana Ya'ar,

WUJS, EUJS in southern Israel
WUJS, EUJS in southern Israel

The World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) along with the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) have been distributing toys and gifts to disadvantaged and new immigrant children across the south of Israel in a project called 'Hope for Hanukkah.'  

Chairpeople Oliver Worth and Andi Grgely of the two organizations cooperated in an effort to connect Diaspora students to the plight of children during and after Operation Pillar of Defense.

'Hope for Hanukkah' raised over $7,000 in foreign donations, with money coming from the Jewish communities of Switzerland, Amsterdam and Rome as well as individual students all across Europe and the United States. Some communities started their own collection points and gifts are still arriving from the United Kingdom, Austria and Germany, organizers said. 

The money collected was spent according to lists generated from requests from Absorption Centers and day care facilities across the south. Toys were purchased from independent toy stores in the south of Israel, who themselves offered significant discounts and free supplies to help with spreading the holiday spirit.

Students from Midreshet Rachel V'Chaya donated a significant number of self-wrapped gifts to the project, organizers said, with their toys going to help families under the care of 'Maslan,' the Negev Domestic Violence Support Center.

Toys and money that were left over after the holiday will be saved until the end of December, then to be redistributed during the WUJS annual Congress.

WUJS is the international umbrella organization for 48 national Jewish student unions from all over the world.