Happy Chunukah!

The Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorating the liberation and rededication of the Holy Temple when one day’s worth of oil burned for eight days, is usually celebrated with a traditional ceremony lighting the candles of a Chanukiah. Akiva School in Finchley went a bit further this year. Students in eight classes from Year 3 – 6 decided to shine a bit of light in their communities by taking part in the Social Entrepreneurship challenge day, making use of resources they had to hand to help local people.

This was an opportunity for the children to mix with other classes and be creative in developing a plan of action to implement a social enterprise to benefit their community. This ranged from local childcare programmes, to fundraising fun runs, or art clubs for children with disabilities. The young teams of entrepreneurs also took on the challenge of embedding the story of Chunukah into their projects by thinking of ways to make their limited resources go as far as possible in creating impact and persuading visitors to vote for their project. The winning team would be taken forward to pitch their idea at a top London business.

Helping the Community through Enterprise Projects

One team had the bright Chunukah-inspired idea of raising money for solar panels for the school, using solar energy to power the classroom lights for longer, and act as a shining example of environmental awareness in the community. The “Power Lights” team certainly shone as a creative and applied bunch, and their electronic clad stand at the social enterprise market fair really captured the principles of the day.

The market fair was a roaring success. Parents and local community members got to visit stands and talk to the competing students wearing improvised sandwich boards and handing out business cards. The teamwork and bonding the children achieved to promote their ideas and causes meant that when the day closed with the lighting of the 3rd candle on the menorah, the Akiva School community had not only celebrated an important event in the Jewish calendar, but had come that little bit closer together in the process.

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