As Chanukah approached, Chabad Hebrew schools prepared a special program organized by CKids to help share the miracles and missions of Chanukah – with a new digital spin.
By Yehuda Gorkin
The Chanukah frenzy is in full swing. With party planning, gelt giving, dreidel-spinning and of course, menorah kindling.
But this year, Hebrew School parents may notice something different about their children’s Menorahs: A little square of black and white beneath each light.
These small QR codes represent the latest efforts of Shluchim and CKids Hebrew school directors to empower their students to become their own beacons of light, by adding one good deed each night and sharing the miracle of Chanukah with their friends and families, thereby spreading the light of Chanukah around the world.
Designed to unify the hundreds of Chabad Hebrew schools from across the globe, the Shluchim have worked tirelessly to implement these synchronized programs for their students from all walks of life, thus enabling them to come together and celebrate their Jewish heritage with pride and joy.
But beyond the CKids clubs and Hebrew school programming set to take place this coming Chanukah, this initiative aims to reach any Jewish kid, regardless of their previous Hebrew school or Tzivos Hashem participation.
“The beauty of this program is that it’s not bound to a certain setting,” said Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302. “Kids are being empowered to nominate each other to do Mitzvos beyond the classroom or synagogue setting.”
Coordinated by CKids Tzivos Hashem, the CKids Chanukah Frenzy contest is designed to be uniquely accessible to anyone who wants to participate, bridging the gap between the physical and the spiritual, by way of the digital. The program uses the menorah’s lights to inspire kids to add more light to the world around them, one good deed at a time.
“Every child was given a set of QR codes to attach to their own menorahs,” said Mrs. Risa Bursk, Director of CKids Tzivos Hashem. “On each night of Chanukah, they scan the code found just beneath the newest candle to grace their beautiful menorahs, and then, the quest is on!”
The code will take them to the dedicated webpage for that night’s ‘Chanukah Frenzy’ mission and guide them through their nightly Chanukah journey.
“The journey will begin with a video message from a fellow student, who will relate the nightly mission. Every night, participants will be reminded to light their Menorahs and do one more special task.”
Whether it’s proudly taking part in a public menorah lighting, eating latkes, or listening to the Chanukah story, each night brings something new.
And every night that they light their menorahs and do their extra mission, participants will earn an extra ticket into the contest’s grand raffle.
Giving children the opportunity to bring the light of Torah and Mitzvos into their own homes, on their own accord, also presents a unique opportunity, according to Rabbi Zalmy Loewenthal, director of CKids international. “Children can often have a stronger influence on their peers, and their surroundings than any teacher or Rabbi can,” said Loewenthal.
With all the distractions and the disengagement that is typically attributed to technology, the Chanukah Frenzy Contest’s use of technology to share enthusiasm for Chanukah is another prime example of turning darkness to light, and bringing the passion, and indeed, frenzy for this wonderful mitzvah into the heart of every Jewish child and every Jewish home.
For resources and information regarding this program, go to ckids.org/chanukahfrenzy.
Click here to message Merkos 302 on Whatsapp for any questions, comments, or sponsorship opportunities.