By COLlive reporter
Throughout New York City, small pockets of light and warmth shone forth from the homes of Public School students who are a part of the Released Time program, a branch of the NCFJE organization.
A dedicated team of volunteers – bochurim of Chabad Yeshivos – spent their Chanukah bringing the joy and spirit of Chanukah to hundreds of students and their families.
As the sun went down every Chanukah evening, 20 cars filled with volunteers, menorahs, dreidels and fresh donuts took to the street en route to the homes of Released Time students throughout the city.
Released time is an organization that the Rebbe established in the days following his arrival to the United States and for the past 80 years has been pulling students out of their public school classrooms to take part in an hour filled with Jewish education and giving them joyful Jewish experiences that will impact them forever.
Thanks to their time spent in Released Time, these students receive vital education on basic Jewish themes such as Kosher, brochos, Shabbos and yomim tovim which they do not get anywhere else.
The volunteers joined the families for candle lighting, a joyous dreidel game, and meaningful conversations – many of the visits lasted well over an hour.
Throughout the eight nights of Chanukah, over 500 homes were visited and illuminated with the light of the Chanukah flames. Over 700 menorahs and boxes of candles were distributed and thousands of donuts were enjoyed by everyone.
The volunteers made a point to visit students who had previously been registered in Released Time but for some reason were no longer enrolled.
From the families visited, over 50 new students were registered and will continue to receive the special hour of Jewish education every single week.