Bay Area Jewish Preschools to Distribute Hundreds of Chanukah Gifts to Needy Kids

18 preschools in SF, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma and the South Bay are partnering with the Fifth Night Project to educate kids on charitable giving during Chanukah

San Francisco, CAFrom November 25 to December 6, the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund will join PJ Library, Parents Place, and 18 Bay Area Jewish preschools in hosting the Fifth Night Project to provide Chanukah gifts for needy kids.  The Project emphasizes the fifth night of Chanukah in an effort to teach children the Jewish value of tzedakah (giving with just intention) by forgoing their own gift on that night to provide one for a child in need. 
Collections bins will be placed at Bay Area preschools (full list below) from November 25 through December 6 for parents and kids to donate gifts.  Classroom and take-home activities will be provided to help make the Fifth Night Project and the holiday meaningful for preschoolers and their families.  The gifts will be donated to Parents Place, a program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, with branches in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, and Sonoma Counties.  Suggested gifts are educational toys, games, books and school and art supplies.  Gifts should not be wrapped.
“The principle of tzedakah can be taught from a very young age, and kids can understand early on our collective responsibility to others in our community,” said Federation CEO Jennifer Gorovitz.  “I’m so pleased that we can partner with these terrific preschools to help perform these precious mitzvot.”
“There is an entire week of creativity in the classroom with storytelling and art around tzedakah that leads up to the gift collection,” said Vivien Braly, PJ Library Coordinator for the San Francisco Area.  “These preschoolers learn why we help others and they feel great doing it.”
“At a time of year when commercialism can overwhelm the beauty of giving, it’s fast becoming a wonderful new tradition for our family,” said Erika Coplon, a Temple Emanu-El Preschool parent.
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

Launched in 2011, the Fifth Night Project has collected over 1,400 toys to date.


PJ Library® is a program of the 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
The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Learn more at

For immediate release

November 07, 2013


Ilan Kayatsky