Over 100 children and adults gathered in Aberdeen for Fifth Night, a festive Hanukka program of celebration and giving.
Temple Beth Ahm hosted the event in conjunction with their community celebration on Dec. 6; cohosts were Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ and PJ Library in the Heart of NJ.
Fifth Night is an annual event sponsored by Big Tent Judaism through which young children donate Hanukka gifts to children in need. The gifts donated locally benefited clients of Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County.
“We were thrilled to be able to donate to the Fifth Night collection,” said Beth Ahm congregant Kim Kaufman, a mother of two young children. “It is an important value to instill in our children from a young age. They will one day understand the significance in giving one of their gifts to a child who has none. I can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Parents had been encouraged to help each child select a gift for a recipient of a similar age. JFS executive director Sara Levine thanked the children for their gifts and described how they will help recipients and their families. The program continued with crafts, snacks, singing, and the reading of a PJ Library book.
In addition to Beth Ahm, synagogues throughout the federation area served as collection points for Fifth Night gifts, including Monmouth Reform Temple, Tinton Falls; Temple Beth Miriam, Long Branch; Congregation Neve Shalom, Metuchen; Congregation B’nai Tikvah, North Brunswick; and Highland Park Conservative Temple-Congregation Anshe Emeth, Highland Park. The federation also had a collection box in its office and at its annual meeting. A total of 330 gifts were collected.