Local synagogue raises funds during annual Hanukkah campaign

Rabbi Choni Marozov lights a yahrzeit candle on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement at Chabad SCV in Newhall in 2018. Marozov said Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish religion, is "a day of forgiveness." Cory Rubin/ The Signal

During the eight days of Hanukkah, every dollar that was donated to Chabad of Santa Clarita Valley was matched three times by six benefactors for their “end of the year” campaign.

Between Dec. 22 and Dec. 30, donations to Chabad of SCV were tripled to meet the goal of  more than $180,000.

“It’s really beautiful to see people’s willingness to contribute their time and hard-earned money,” said Rabbi Choni Marozov of Chabad of SCV

The annual campaign began five years ago in an effort to raise money for the synagogue’s yearly budget. The goal has increased each year because people donate more and more, said Marozov. 

“Two members came saying they were willing to match donations five years ago, and that’s how this campaign tradition started,” said Marozov. “It made the campaign much more successful. People were excited to have their donations matched.”

Since then, the number of benefactors has risen to six. Some of the benefactors are affiliated with Chabad of SCV and some aren’t.

“The benefactors aren’t necessarily involved with Chabad, but they want to support the work we do, so they were generous enough to contribute to the campaign,” said Marozov.

Since the synagogue doesn’t charge membership fees, this campaign is a way to raise 50% of the funds needed to continue programs and charity events the synagogue offers.

The campaign happens over the period of Hanukkah each year since the message of Hanukkah is giving back and recognizing the message of light, said Marozov.

“There’s no bad time to give back,” he said. “You don’t lose anything when you give. God will always pay you back, and it makes the world a better place.”

The matching campaign ended along with Hanukkah on Monday, but donations to the “end of the year” campaign will still be accepted through New Year’s Eve.

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