JCRS held Chanukah Wrap-a-thon on Oct. 11
The Jewish Children’s Regional Service (JCRS) held its annual Chanukah Wrap-a-thon on Sunday, October 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Goldring-Woldenberg Campus building at 3737 West Esplanade Avenue in Metairie.
All members of the public were invited to attend the event, which provides holiday gifts to the needy and oftentimes overlooked Jewish children residing in the seven-state area over which JCRS serves.
This year much of the underwriting for the project was paid for by a generous grant from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust.
This program, hosted by the oldest Jewish children’s agency in the country, marked s its 18th year. It provides Chanukah gifts to 200 Jewish minors, some of whom reside in a number of different state institutions.
The aim of the program is to provide eight small gifts for each night of Chanukah for recipients.
The wrapped Chanukah gifts will be shipped by JCRS to family dwellings and state institutions so that they will be received by the children in time for Chanukah.
“We are quite pleased to be able to honor the memory and charitable interests of the late Oscar J. Tolmas by underwriting the costs of valuable programs such as this,” explained Trustees Vince Giardina and Lisa Romano. “Oscar Tolmas wanted his legacy to serve those with the greatest of needs, and these individuals, like our veterans, need to be remembered and served.”
The grant to the Chanukah Gift Program is one of three separate grants given to JCRS by the Tolmas Trust. Others will benefit their Special Needs Program, which helps to provide care and treatment to developmentally challenged Jewish youth across the region, and their Education Program that provides college tuition assistance based on financial need to Jewish undergraduate students.
JCRS, which was founded in 1855 in response to the yellow fever epidemics that orphaned large numbers of Jewish children and formerly provided a residence in New Orleans for Jewish orphans. The last site it occupied is on the grounds of the present Uptown JCC.
“Many of the kids we serve have physical, educational, or emotional challenges, while others have families that have suffered through significant turmoil. The job of our staff is not only to help youth by providing guidance and scholarship opportunities, but it is also to provide the message to the parents and children that they are not forgotten by the Jewish community,” said JCRS executive director Ned Goldberg.
JCRS serves over 1500 youth across its region, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Part of its outreach included overseeing the PJ Library Program, a national program designed to bring Jewish-centric reading to Jewish youth.
JCRS also funds camperships to Jewish camps for more than 300 Jewish campers at more than 35 different Jewish non-profit camps nationwide. These funds are distributed on a need basis determined by JCRS staffers.