If you are still looking for an interesting Hanukkah gift this year, consider a goat.
Yes, a non-profit based in Arkansas is looking to combine concepts like tzedka and tikun olam with the gift-giving traditions of Hanukkah to encourage people to gift cows, bees, water buffalos and other livestock to communities in need around the world.
Heifer at Hanukkah is the brainchild of Jonathan Blank, a New York investment manager, who was asked by Heifer International how to better reach the Jewish community. Heifer at Hanukkah—which aims to provide “meaningful Hanukkah gift ideas for that special child in your life”– was thus born.
As part of the campaign, the organization includes a promotional video on the website featuring Ed Asner, star of the Mary Tyler Moore show, among others, as well as Mark Feuerstein, star of the USA comedy Royal Pains.
“My granddaughter will get the gift of giving tzedakah,” Asner says. “Kids play with a good toy for a few months, maybe a year, but this is a gift that end poverty at home and abroad.”
Heifer International works with families domestically, as well as abroad, in places like Thailand, India, Peru and Senegal.
According to a spokesperson with the group, Allison Stephens, this isn’t the first time they’ve appealed to faith-based groups. “One of the cornerstones of our organization is spirituality, but that doesn’t denote one religion or another,” she said.
They’ve also had similar campaigns for Christmas, Mother’s Day, weddings, and other celebrations.