At OHEL, Chanukah starts early with the Annual Toy Drive. Together with the Daniella Moffson Foundation and many local schools, hundreds of gifts were donated to the children and families of OHEL. And this was just the beginning.

The start of Chanukah saw the many residents in OHEL Bais Ezra and OHEL Mental Health homes light candles together, exchanging gifts and celebrating each night with singing, smiles and of course good Chanukah food!

At OHEL’s Annual Chanukah Party for Foster Families, OHEL foster children enjoyed a loving, and joyous night of entertainment together with their foster parents. The evening is in addition, a celebration and tribute to the dedicated and tireless efforts of OHEL foster parents and OHEL foster staff who are dedicated to help nurture children who are loved and thrive in their OHEL foster homes.

For individuals and staff at OHEL, Chanukah is also a very important time to show appreciation to the many public service workers of NYC – from firefighters to policemen who spend their holiday season watching over others. Several of OHEL’s homes in Brooklyn and The Five Towns visited local police and fire stations with presents, snacks and warm hugs to give thanks for their hard work and dedication. Everyone was smiling.

The culmination of OHEL’s Chanukah festivities was of course OHEL’s Annual Chanukah Party, where OHEL clients and their families, employees, friends and supporters of OHEL, and many OHEL Board Members, shared an unforgettable evening celebrating The Festival of Lights.

From clowns on stilts, a talking dreidel, to face painters, the evening was one of laughter and big smiles. Balloon artists crafted everything from a ninja to Cookie Monster, and everyone enjoyed a sumptuous Chanukah buffet.

OHEL thanks Sammy and Lea Trencher for their gracious support of OHEL’s Annual Chanukah Party and with the assistance of many children in attendance, they together lit the Chanukah candles, followed by a beautiful rendition of Maoz Tzur.

OHEL Board Member Shloime Dachs and his orchestra led the songs, music and dancing, and many clients joined Shloime on stage sharing the microphone and singing their favorite songs.

The celebration reached a finale when Shloime introduced two couples on stage, who are dating through OHEL’s Simcha Fund — a program which helps individuals challenged by disability to learn dating and social skills. The smiles on their faces as they sang together helped cap a truly special night.

At the end of this incredible evening, Sammy Trencher sang an inspiring rendition of “HaMalach HaGoel,” a tradition at OHEL events -  that dates back almost 47 years!

Since 1969, OHEL has served as a dependable haven of individual and family support, helping people of all ages surmount disability, everyday challenges, heal from trauma, and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. OHEL serves thousands in need every day in communities in New York, New Jersey, California and worldwide.


Individuals interested in the many programs that OHEL offers should contact OHEL at (800)-603-OHEL (6435). Like us on Facebook at OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services and follow us on Instagram @ohelfamily.


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