hanukkah-girl Thank you for your interest in the Hanukkah Helpers Program!

Hanukkah helpers is an opportunity for your family to create a Hanukkah package that brings joy and a helping hand to another family who is being assisted by the Jewish Family Services Agency (JFSA).

Hanukkah Helpers is a fun activity that your family can do on your own schedule and easily involves even the youngest of children in a charitable act.  We have heard many positive stories about families engaging their children in selecting the items to include in the package often for another child their own age.  Below are our FAQs:


Hanukkah Helpers Frequently Asked Questions


How can our family participate?

Its easy.  Just click here to register.

Or you can also email any of the 2017 coordinators directly and express your desire to participate.

A coordinator will get back to you shortly with a match family.  The name of the family remains anonymous but the information you receive will include the ages and genders of the family members and a brief description of why the family is working with the JFSA.  We want to make sure you are happy with the match and if for any reason you feel it doesn’t work for your family please don’t hesitate to ask for another option.

Once your match is confirmed, a Hanukkah Helpers coordinator will provide you with a Hanukkah Helpers Envelope that will be used to collect your receipts and also provide you with a numbered tag to be tied to your package, thereby ensuring your package is delivered to its intended recipients.

Can we request additional information about the family in order to better tailor the contents of our package?

We have had feedback from donor families in the past asking that we provide additional information about the children’s likes and interests to aid in personalizing the packages.  In an effort to maintain privacy and anonymity, no further information will be available other than what is provided in the initial description of the matched recipient family.

What should go into the package?

The contents of this package are up to you and your family.  Here are just a few examples of some items included in the past:

  • Oil, Latke mixes, Dreidels, Chocolate money and Candles
  • Gift cards for groceries
  • Gifts for the kids
  • Entertainment gift cards
  • Cold weather accessories
  • Handmade cards from kids

Every package is unique and incredibly appreciated by the receiver.

What should be the value of the package’s contents?

We want to stress that there are no expectations from the recipient family as they are not expecting anything.  Any amount donated will be a welcome surprise and a help to the families aided by the JFSA.

Should we wrap the package? 

This is up to you.  Past packages have come in grocery bags, gift bags, baskets and even a frying pan!  But if you need some ideas, the photo gallery to the right may be helpful.

How much time do we have to put our package together?

To ensure that the JFSA case workers can deliver the packages to the recipient families in time for Hanukkah please have your package ready by (December 4th)

How do we submit our package to the JFSA?

Once your package is complete, you can deliver it directly to the JFSA office (201-475 East Broadway).  They are open 9-5 Monday – Thursday and 9-3:30 on Fridays.  The staff are very welcoming and appreciative, so it is a great experience to do the drop off with your kids.  We know this can be a busy time of year and if you would rather not make the trip, just let one of the coordinators know and we will be happy to arrange transport for your package from your home and deliver it to the JFSA on your behalf.

Please remember to attach the provided numbered TAG to your package.  Again, this will ensure it goes to the intended recipient family.  Please seal and keep the provided Hanukkah Helpers Envelope separate from the package as this will be given directly to the JFSA development office so a tax receipt can be be prepared for you.

Aside from the intended recipient family, who sees the contents of the package?

Once delivered to JFSA, the package your family has created will be directed to a case worker who will hand deliver it to its intended recipient family.  Your Hanukkah Helpers envelope -which will include the receipts from the items you purchased and your contact details- is directed to the JFSA development office where a strict privacy and ethics code is adhered to.  Please note that the coordinators of Hanukkah Helpers are volunteers and do not have access to any confidential information.

Do we get a tax receipt for the full value of our package?

All purchases are eligible for a tax receipt.  Please note that any taxes paid on goods are not eligible.  Be sure to include all your receipts in the Hanukkah Helpers envelope that will be provided to you and submit the envelope to the JFSA office.

You will receive a tax receipt within a few weeks of submission of your receipts.

If I have questions throughout the process who should I ask?

Your 2017 coordinators are here to answer any questions you may have about the Hanukkah Helpers initiative.

Lori Braha, loribraha@gmail.com, 604-315-5131

Kamiel Schwartz, kamiel.schwartz@gmail.com, 604-318-4633

Justine Folk, justinefolk@gmail.com,

You may also contact the following JFSA staff:

Ayana Honig, ahonig@jfsa.ca 604-558-5707


I know another family who may be interested in participating in Hanukkah Helpers.   

We are always looking for donor families to help with a growing need.  Let any of the coordinators know and we are happy to personally touch base with interested potential donor families and provide them with information about Hanukkah Helpers.  Thanks for helping us spread the word!

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