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Happy Hanukkah
Happy Hanukkah

Our donors have recommended grants to fully fund eight projects for six Jewish nonprofits. Click here to explore giving opportunities that will support our Jewish community.

Fully Funded Projects

• Mandell Jewish Community Center – New ECC fence for COVID-19 related safety
• Jewish Association for Community Living – New wheelchair van
• Jewish Family Services (2) -- Mental telehealth services technology; New computers and network servers
• Jewish Federation – Mezuzah for the doors of the office suite
• Jewish Historical Society – (2) Strategic planning consultant; digital recording tools for virtual exhibitions
• UConn Hillel – Jews and Superheroes program

Every dollar makes a difference!

How to Engage Grandchildren in Giving this Hanukkah 

Hanukkah offers a wonderful opportunity to begin a new tradition of charitable giving for younger family members. Just ask Judie and Coleman Levy, fund holders at the Foundation. They have been engaging their grandchildren for years with a simple yet thoughtful written message and gift every Hanukkah. They provide each of their grandchildren with a certain dollar amount, of which one half has to be donated to a charity of their choice. Once the children make their donation, they have to write and tell their grandparents about it. Then they can use the other half of the gift money as they choose.

“It’s a great way to model philanthropy for the children,” says Coleman. “It is not inherent, it has to be taught, and the best way is by example.”

This Hanukkah, in between lighting the menorah, playing dreidel games, and eating latkes, why not try engaging your family members in supporting charitable giving? Judie and Coleman offer a few tips for your approach:  
- Explain your values and why charitable giving matters - Explain why charitable giving is important. This letter explains to their grandchildren the values they live by, and that many children are not as fortunate as you and do not have the basic necessities of life. This emphasizes the meaning and importance of appreciating what you have and helping people who are less fortunate.
- Adopt your approach with age - It’s never too early to teach children about tzedakah (charity), and you can deepen their involvement over time. For Judie and Coleman, they have increased the level of gift, responsibility and expectation as the children get older. 
- Encourage children to share - Children learn more about charitable giving when they can engage and share their experience. Judie and Coleman have enjoyed reading the letters of their grandchildren about organizations they’ve chosen, and they have bonded over this meaningful experience.  

“What’s especially encouraging is the continued commitment of our grandchildren on their own and their involvement in various charitable causes throughout the year,” says Coleman and Judie. “These results, that’s what matters, and this is sowing the seeds for the future.”  

Want to try it?
Judie and Coleman have generously offered to share their successful letter template. For a copy, or a discussion about your situation, please contact Kathryn Gonnerman at or 413-475-0415.



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What's New: The J Factor

Read about how Dignity Grows, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Women’s Philanthropy division is solving a critical need for women, here in Jacob Schreiber's West Hartford News column, The J Factor.  

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