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

17 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, CA – From December 8 to December 18, the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund will join PJ Library,* Parents Place, and 17 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 December 8 to December 18 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.

“Children learn best through action,” said Vivien Braly, PJ Library Coordinator for the San Francisco Area. “The Fifth Night project start with a week of creativity in the classroom with storytelling, art, and learning about tzedakah and culminates in the gift collection. Preschoolers feel good about giving to others and it makes the lessons in the classroom come to life.”

“The Fifth Night Project is a great opportunity for preschool age children to learn about the needs of others and provides them with a concrete experience to actualize the Jewish value of tzedakah. The idea of giving righteously becomes a part of their identity and has the power to last a lifetime,” noted Adam Lowy, teacher and Jewish Resource Specialist at Temple Emanu-El Preschool in San Francisco.

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
  • Congregation Beth Jacob Preschool in Redwood City
  • Congregation Beth Sholom Family Preschool in San Francisco
  • Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco
  • Gan Israel Preschool in San Rafael
  • Gan Noe Preschool in San Francisco
  • Ganon Early Childhood Education Center/Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo
  • Helen Diller Family Preschool/JCCSF in San Francisco
  • Leslie Family ECE Center/Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto
  • OFJCC Preschool at Beth Am in Los Altos
  • OMJCC ECE Preschool in San Rafael
  • OMJCC ECE Preschool in Tiburon
  • Peninsula Temple Sholom Preschool in Burlingame
  • Rosenberg Early Childhood Education Center/JCCSF in San Francisco
  • Temple Emanu-El Preschool in San Francisco

Launched in 2011, the Fifth Night Project has collected over 2,000 toys to date.

* PJ Library® in the San Francisco Bay Area has been so successful that it has just expanded to serve kids up to age 8. 


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

PJ Library® of the San Francisco Bay Area is a program of the Federation’s ECE Initiative and is generously funded by grants from the Federation, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and generous local funders. 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

For immediate release

November 26, 2014


Ilan Kayatsky