On or about the year 165BC, Judah Maccabee and his family courageously saved both the Israelites and the Second Temple from the grasps of the evil Syrian Greek army, while the Temple lamp, containing only one vial of oil, miraculously shone brightly upon our ancestors for eight nights and days. This is why we celebrate Hanukkah. And here at JBBBS, we do our best to ensure that our children and vulnerable adults with disabilities are able to experience this celebratory period as well.
Earlier this month, two latter day heroic Macabbean families, the Bamels and the Silks, sponsored unforgettable JBBBS holiday parties. At the Bamel Friend 2 Friend Hanukkah party, more than 150 Friend 2 Friend program participants joyfully exchanged presents, ate latkes, spun dreidles and danced the night away, at the Inn at Brookline, MA. It was an opportunity for our participants and volunteers to not only come together to socialize and get to know one another, but also to celebrate the holiday. Then, four days later, roughly 120 children, Friend 2 Friend participants, and their matches from our JBBBS community were treated by the Silk Family to a most wonderful holiday lunch at the Commander’s Mansion in Watertown and to a terrific production of Oliver at the New Repertory Theater.
Words do not adequately convey what I was privileged enough to witness at both parties; namely, the close bonds, laughter, commitment and the trust that our children have with their mentors, and that our client friends have with their adult volunteers. This is JBBBS in a nutshell. How apropos, then, that Oliver’s Artful Dodger memorably sang to our group:
“Consider yourself at home.
Consider yourself one of the family.
We’ve taken to you so strong.
It’s clear we’re going to get along.”
The Bamel and Silk Family Hanukkah Parties represent everything that JBBBS proudly stands for: selfless volunteer and staff commitment, unconditional friendship loyalty, generosity of spirit, and impactful donor philanthropy. These are the gifts that last every day of the year, long after the lights of the Menorah have been extinguished on the eighth day of Hanukkah. I extend my heartfelt thanks to each of you.
On behalf of our board and staff, I wish each of you an extremely happy Hanukkah, as well as any other holiday you might be celebrating in the week ahead, and a sweet and healthy 2020 as well!
Jeffrey K. Savit
President & Chief Executive Officer