Chanukah Excitement Building at Chai Lifeline; Over a dozen events taking place in the month of Kislev

Chanukah is still five days away, but Chai Lifeline has already held close to a dozen Pre Chanukah events, with many more to come. For families battling illness, these events are often the highlight of the Chanukah season.

Sunday Fundays

Chai Boys Club and Chai Girls Club, Sunday clubs for children struggling with chronic illness, threw festive pre-Chanukah parties overflowing with delicious food and wide smiles. Kidz Konnect, Chai Lifeline’s Sunday Club for siblings of children battling serious illness, ran a fun-filled pre-Chanukah gathering overflowing with good cheer, great food, and Chanukah-themed games and crafts.

A Drive to Bring Smiles

The highlight of Chai Lifeline’s Chanukah festivities is its mammoth toy drive. Local schools and toy stores have joined forces to collect hundreds of exciting toys, which will be distributed to children in the hospital on Chanukah and throughout the year. For a child in the hospital, an exciting new toy could flip hours of misery to stimulating, fun-filled days.

Angels Light Up the Nights

Close to 200 Chanukah Angels, women from our community committed to bringing joy to those struggling amongst us, signed up to buy toys for Chai Lifeline families. They each received one family’s wish list, which lists each child’s dream toy. These caring women then lovingly headed to toy stores around town to fulfill each child’s wish. The toys they bought have been collected and wrapped with care at high school and community wrapping parties and are ready and waiting to bring squeals of delight to hundreds of children.

Chanukah Cheer at CHOP

A festive Chanukah party took place in CHOP on Tuesday. Patients and their parents gathered in the Atrium to enjoy high spirits, crafts and a skit by talented volunteers, which was broadcast live throughout the hospital.

A Menorah Lighting Ceremony for patients, doctors, nurses and hospital administrators will be taking place at CHOP next Monday, on the second night of Chanukah. Rabbi Sruli Fried, MSW will address the crowd, and talented violinist Pesach Nestlebaum, accompanied by a choir, will uplift the assembled with beautiful renditions of Chanukah classics. An enormous Menorah, created by artistic genius Moshe Schapira and The Railing Mench in honor of the brave children at CHOP, stands tall and proud in the large Atrium in wait for Chanukah. Another majestic menorah stands ready at the Buerger center where a second lighting ceremony will take place.

A group of thoughtful mothers prepared care packages for children in CHOP and respite volunteers prepared Chanukah-themed décor that will bring the spirit of Chanukah to the children’s hospital rooms. Since Menorah lighting is prohibited in hospital rooms due to fire hazards, volunteers will distribute electric menorahs to families, so they can celebrate no matter where they are.

Chanukah Bash at Its Best

The grand annual Lakewood Chanukah party will be taking place on Motzei Shabbos. Close to 1,000 family members and volunteers will celebrate the upcoming festival of lights in an atmosphere of joy and unity. United by their shared struggles, the party is an opportunity for families to connect with others in similar situations in a light, upbeat atmosphere.

Preparations for the party have been in full swing for months. Local high schools pitched in by preparing exciting party favor packages and dozens of volunteers have offered their assistance to ensure that the party is a resounding success.

These events and many more, including parties at Children’s Specialized Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson, are made possible by tens of schools, dozens of communities throughout Lakewood, and hundreds of volunteers who are committed to making a real difference. Once again, the Lakewood community has united to spread light and joy to families battling illness.


#1 – Chai Boys Club Pre-Chanukah event

#1a – Chai Girls Club painting decorations for the upcoming Lakewood Chanukah party

#2 (video) – Kidz Konnect menorah contest

#2a – Kidz Konnect menorah contest

#3 – Chai Lifeline Toy drive bins in toy stores around town filling up with exciting toys for all ages

#4 – Boxes ready to be filled with the best in games and toys for close to 200 families

#4a – Gift wrapping party

#5 – Wrapped boxes of toys ready for the upcoming Chanukah party

#5a – Wrapped boxes of toys ready for the upcoming Lakewood Chanukah party

#6 – Chai Lifeline toy closet stocked with the best in toys by individuals, schools and stores throughout Lakewood

#7 – Enormous menorah delivered to CHOP

#8 – Enormous menorah delivered to CHOP

#9 – Party favor packages prepared by local high schools

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