It was not the first time that a giant Menorah was lit in the very center of Hong Kong surrounded by huge skycrapers. This has been done each year since 1986.
It was, however, the first time that a Crocs Menorah, made with 1,000 pairs of the famous colorful shoes, was “lit” right nearby.
This Menorah – although much smaller in size – attracted special attention because of the story behind it.
The story of these Crocs began with a small charity campaign generated by “Helping Hands,” a children’s chessed organization in Hong Kong.
In Sept. 2008 small charity boxes were distributed in homes and offices of the HK Jewish community with express goal of collecting money to buy Crocs for children Israel. The best case goal was the purchase of 50 or so Crocs.
By the year’s end close to 5,000 Shekel was collected. When the Crocs company was approached, they were so impressed, that they offered to donate 1,000 Crocs to the cause.
While this was a very welcome and unexpected windfall, the logistics of exporting this amount of Crocs became complicated. Through the efforts of Dayana Poller, a member of the Jewish community in Hong Kong, Flying Cargo, the Board of Yeladim Bisikui and donors willing to cover the tax costs, all the arrangements for the transport of the Crocs were in place – just in time for Chanukah.
As children and adults that gathered to light Chabad’s Giant Menorah in the center of Hong Kong this year, they stopped for a few moments to write cards that were attached to Crocs and then placed them, one by one, into large clear tubes which formed the world’s First Croc Menorah.
The Menorah was completed by Amikam Levy, Consul General of Israel and presented by Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon, Director of Chabad in China, to El Al Captain Shub who represented Yeladim B’Sikui, an organization that aids 6,500 children living in 80 dormitories throughout Israel.
Flying Cargo will be shipping the Crocs to Israel so that they will be received by the children just in time for Purim.
Jewish children in Hong Kong reaching across the globe to help their less fortunate brothers in Israel. This was truly heartwarming Menorah representing the power of goodness – the underlying message of Chanukah.