What is your favorite Jewish holiday? What is your favorite memory? Is it hearing the blast of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah? Is it feeling the warmth of the lit candles of the menorah and the smell of latkes frying during Chanukah? Is it spending time with family around the table for seders during Passover? Or, perhaps, is it dressing up and enjoying the fun of Purim?

Throughout the year, Jewish Family Services (JFS) brings the Jewish holidays to those who might not otherwise be able to celebrate. What do these holiday celebrations look like?

  • Holiday Outreach Bags At Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah and Purim, JFS, its Advisory Board members, and committee members deliver holiday bags to those who are isolated and alone or who are living in continuum of care facilities. JFS is grateful to the Jewish community – Beth Abraham Synagogue, Beth Jacob Congregation, Chabad of Greater Dayton, Temple Beth Or, and Temple Israel – for supporting this initiative.
  • Community Celebrations For Rosh Hashanah and Purim, JFS holds programs that are open to the community both at a north and a south location for each holiday. Local cantors and music directors lead these programs and there is always a tasty holiday nosh.
  • Annual Chanukah Brunch Every year, JFS hosts a Chanukah Brunch that is a partnership between the JFS Active Adults, Hadassah, the Jewish War Veterans, and the Lynda A. Cohen Yiddish Club. This popular brunch brings together friends from across the Miami Valley and offers a Chanukah celebration for those who may not be able to attend evening celebrations.
  • Mitzvah Missions Several times a year, JFS partners with the JCC’s Early Childhood Program, Camp Shalom K’tan, and Hillel Academy to travel to continuum of care facilities to engage with the residents around an activity and noshes. When possible, JFS tries to schedule these missions near a holiday. JFS and children from the JCC and Hillel Academy have brought Passover, Chanukah, Shabbat and July 4th activities and snacks to seniors. Seniors light up when they see the children and many join in songs that they remember.

While JFS serves the Miami Valley, for the Jewish community, we are family. By celebrating the holidays in the community, JFS hopes to spark joy by triggering warm memories from the past, creating new memories with new friends, or even just enjoying the holiday in the moment.

For more information on JFS programs, please contact Tara Feiner, JFS Director at (937) 401-1546 or

Holiday Outreach Bags

Photos courtesy of Jewish Family Services

Community Celebrations – Off to a Sweet Start and Purim Programs

Photos courtesy of Jewish Family Services

Mitzvah Missions

Photos courtesy of Jewish Family Services

Annual Chanukah Brunch

Photos by Peter Wine

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