As Chanukah was approaching, Rabbi Avraham Varnai, the teacher of the fourth grade class of Cheder Lubavitch in Chicago gave his students a challenge: To make a Menorah out of canned food that would be distributed to those in need. The goal was set; 770 cans of food would go a long way to helping those who were struggling to feed their families.
About a week into their efforts, terrible tornadoes left a path of destruction in central Illinois. That sad news had the students thinking of what they could do to help the tornado victims. Fourth grade decided to double their efforts and send some of the food to those affected by the tornadoes. It’s amazing what a group of young students can do when they put their whole heart into it. The cans started pouring in and at the end, a total of 4,770 cans were collected!
The cans were assembled into a Menorah, and in honor of the eighth night of Chanukah, over 400 people gathered in the school’s auditorium for the grand Menorah lighting. Representatives from two local food pantries; the ARK and the Jewish Relief Agency, the two beneficiaries from this Menorah project, thanked the fourth grade class for their tremendous accomplishment.
The Dean of Cheder Lubavitch, Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf, as well the Head Shliach of the state of Illinois, Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, also addressed the crowd. Everyone in the audience was in awe as they witnessed this most meaningful and special Menorah lighting.
In honor of all their hard work, Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois invited the class to the State of Illinois Menorah lighting with Secretary of State Jesse White.