This Chanukah, Jewish Preschoolers Learn the True Meaning of “Thanks” and “Giving”

“Teaching children the value of giving is important, and there is no better way to do that than by showing a living example. It’s an unforgettable life lesson.”
-  Esty Marcus, Director of Chai Preschool, Foster City

On November 28, Thanksgiving and the first day of Chanukah coincide for the first time ever. It is truly a special time to reflect on what we are thankful for as we light the first Hanukkah candles. For families with young children, we can also teach a valuable lesson on how to bring light to others by giving back to those less fortunate.

For the second year in a row, PJ Library® is partnering with Parents Place and 18 Bay Area Jewish preschools for the “Fifth Night Project” – a program to provide preschoolers with a hands-on way to practice giving to others. The project’s name emphasizes the fifth night of Chanukah in an effort to ignite a tradition of designating one night to give to others. The Fifth Night Project teaches children the importance of the Jewish value of tzedakah (giving with just intention) by forgoing their own gift and providing one to a child in need. Collections bins will be placed at Bay Area preschools for the week of November 25 through December 6 for parents and kids to donate gifts. Classroom and take-home activities will be provided to help make the Project and the Jewish holiday meaningful for preschoolers and their families.

Collection bins will be located at participating preschools:

  • Beth Ami Community Preschool in Santa Rosa
  • Brotherhood Way Preschool/JCCSF in San Francisco
  • Chai Preschool in Foster City
  • Claude & Louise Rosenberg ECE Program/JCCSF in San Francisco
  • Congregation Beth Jacob Preschool in Redwood City
  • Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco
  • Gan Aviv in Sunnyvale
  • Gan Israel Preschool in Petaluma
  • Gan Israel Preschool in San Rafael
  • Gan Noe Preschool in San Francisco
  • Helen Diller Family Preschool/JCCSF in San Francisco
  • OFJCC Preschool at Beth Am in Los Altos
  • OMJCC ECE Preschool in San Rafael
  • Peninsula JCC Preschool in Foster City
  • Peninsula Temple Sholom Preschool in Burlingame
  • Southern Marin Jewish Community Preschool in Tiburon
  • Temple Emanu-El Preschool in San Francisco
  • T’enna Preschool at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto

All gifts will be donated to Parents Place, a program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services branches in Marin, San Francisco, and the North and South Bays. Launched in 2011, the Fifth Night Project has collected over 1,400 toys to date for Parents Place. We look forward to another Hanukkah season of bringing light to our larger community.

PJ Library® is a program of the Federation's Early Childhood Education (ECE) Initiative, and is generously funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the Alexander M. & June L. Maisin Foundation. Learn more at

Parents Place is a program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) and is the Bay Area's leading family resource center. From everyday issues to challenges requiring specialized assessment, Parents Place helps parents, caregivers and educators support children at all ages through parenting workshops, parent coaching & consultation, clinical & special needs services, parent/child activity groups, and child & family therapy. Learn more at



October 03, 2013


Vivien Braly