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Monday, December 26, 2011

Israeli Consulate Teams Up With Miss New York for Week of Channukah Cheer

Is Channukah early this year? Is it late this year? When was the last time Channukah was ever on time?

According to the Jewish calendar, Channukah begins on the 25th of the month of Kislev. This year is extra special as Channukah and Christmas meet, making for a week in which hundreds of millions of Americans are celebrating both remarkable holidays. All week long, the Consulate General of Israel in New York has been handing out holiday cheer to the children who  need it most.

“In the spirit of giving back during the holiday season, we are delighted to be able to bring a little holiday cheer to the children in our region and those that will be celebrating the holidays in hospitals” said Consul for Public Affairs Gil Lainer. By spreading the joy of Channukah (most importantly with sufganiyot) “we hope this will be the beginning of a sweet year for them and their families” continued Lainer.

We had some incredible partners too! On Monday, Consulate staff teamed up with Amber Collins, Miss New York 2011 and a host of Miss New York 2012 contestants for a night of fun at the Ronald McDonald House. This marks the second consecutive year the Israeli Consulate has thrown a Channukah party at the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald house is an amazingly supportive institution for children receiving treatment in the New York area, providing them and their families a wealth of services and housing at a nominal fee of only $35 per night.

The holiday party brought smiles to kids who truly need all the love and support in the world. There were magicians, cotton candy, bunnies, clowns, and of course, dreidels.

“Ronald McDonald House New York is honored to host the Consulate General of Israel in celebration of a holiday that means a great deal to us all,” said William T. Sullivan, president & CEO of Ronald McDonald House New York. “With Chanukah’s deep roots in hope and faith, we believe that their visit will bring renewed inspiration to our families.”

On Tuesday night, to ring in the first night of Channukah, the Consulate visited a special after-school program for kids at the Children’s Aid Society in Harlem. If there was one thing we all learned, it’s that playing dreidel transcends cultures. Everyone got in on the action! The girls of Miss New York were also in attendance, as well as a special performance by the hit a capella group “Pella Singers.”

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Later in the week, Consulate officials and staff visited children at the Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. Delivering teddy bears and sufganiyot was a small, but important way to lift their spirits during the holiday season.