JDC Broadcasts a Series of Global Hanukkah Events

Monette De Botton
3 min readJan 8, 2022

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In November 2021, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a Jewish humanitarian organization, launched a new global Hanukkah series. Titled A Great Miracle Happened Here, the series sought to represent Jewish communities around the globe. The series comprised eight events, one for each of the holiday’s eight nights, that took the audience on exciting and revealing journeys through North America, Africa, Europe Asia, and Latin America.

Viewers learned about Jewish history, culture, food, and traditions at each location. Each night, at 7 p.m. EST, viewers watched a video on JDC’s Facebook page or the dedicated series website. Distinguished local women hosted the events and guided the audience through the story of the featured community. At the end of each night’s event, a candle-lighting ceremony took place.

The series kicked off on November 28 in New York City with host Dara Horn, author of the novels All Other Nights and In the Image, and two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Awards. Among the event’s special guests were Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, senior rabbi of the city’s Park Avenue Synagogue; Nissim Black, an American Israeli rapper; and Molly Yeh, blogger, cookbook author, and Food Network host; and JDC CEO Ariel Zwang.

The second night’s location was Morocco, where the host, Dorith Benmoha, a lifelong member of the local Jewish community, shared the country’s story. Marcelle Azoulay, a Jewish community member in Casablanca, made a cooking demonstration of a traditional Moroccan doughnut.

The third night took the audience to Ukraine with host Victoria Turzhanska, head of the program department of Halom Jewish Community Center (JCC) in the capital of Kyiv. The video featured the story of 87-year-old Zinaida Grutman, a retired librarian and Holocaust survivor. Mark Sisisky, JDC president, also delivered a special address.

Irina Shlick, senior program manager of the JCC in Tallinn, Estonia, hosted the fourth night. Despite the decimation of the local Jewish community in World War II, the group has recovered and revitalized.

On the fifth night, host Reva Gorelick, who served as the 2021 JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps Fellow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, invited the audience to a candle-lighting ceremony above the Persian Gulf on the 47th story of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

Israel was the location of the sixth night, with host Avital Elfant Filler, the community development and partnership manager of JDC social innovation center in Lod, an Israelian city southeast of Tel Aviv. The event coincided with the United Nation’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on December 3. The video featured the entrepreneur and developer of signNow, an on-demand sign language translation app for deaf people. The event ended with a Shabbat candle-lighting.

Marta Saracyn, program and communications director of JCC Warsaw, welcomed the viewers to Poland on the seventh night. The video presented young Jewish professionals who shared their views on the flourishing Jewish community in the country that has functioned as a global center of Jewish life for over 1,000 years.

The series wrapped in Latin America. Analucía Lopezrevoredo, the founder of Jewtina y Co, a nonprofit organization that encourages and celebrates the Latin-Jewish community and identity, hosted the eighth event. In the video, Paraguayan schoolchildren greeted the viewers with special Hanukkah messages.

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Monette De Botton
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An advanced astrologer & chronic pain coach, Monette De Botton utilizes deep meditation methods to help individuals cope with chronic physical & emotional pain.