San Diego Jewish Academy students presented $7,066.15 to five local nonprofits at an assembly on Jan. 18. The gifts were the proceeds of the students’ Hanukkah charitable project that reflects the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, which means “repairing the world.”
Giant checks were given to Friendship Circle, Cake4Kids, Canine Companions for Independence, Make-A-Wish San Diego and Lev LaLev, a girls orphanage in Netanaya, Israel.
The SDJA project is known as Tamchui, which is an Aramaic word that means "community collection pot.” Parent volunteers Jacqueline Shapiro and Karin Zell helped organize the project to help provide students with a deeper experience when it comes to giving back and impacting their community.
For the Tamchui project, eighth grade students heard presentations from the five different charity organizations. The eighth graders were then in charge of spreading the word about each charity to the entire K-12 student body—speaking about how Friendship Circle offers fun and inclusive activities for kids and teens with special needs or how Cake4Kids provides birthday cakes for underprivileged children to help celebrate their special day.
All SDJA students then “donated” by placing poker chips in the fishbowl boxes of the charity of choice, in a room lined with festive posters of each charity.
The canine companion in attendance at the school assembly was especially popular with the kids and the nonprofit received the largest individual donation of $1,719.83.