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Good Samaritan helps return lost Hanukkah card with $180 inside

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It was a Hanukkah miracle right here in the Garden State.

A good Samaritan found a Hanukkah card with nearly $200 inside and made it his mission to find the owner.

Josh Israel says that he found the Hanukkah card outside a sushi restaurant in Montgomery Township on Christmas Day. The card said “Dear Ben, With my love. Grandma” and had $180 in cash inside.

Israel said that he wanted to find Ben or at least Grandma so that he could return the money. He posted about the find on Twitter and tagged some larger accounts, including News 12 New Jersey.

"I tagged you know, folks that I knew who might have way more followers than me that I knew would retweet it,” he says.

In less than 24 hours he was contacted by Amy Rosenthal who manages Congregation Kehilat Shalom's membership database.

"The power of social media is strong here because one person told the next, told the next, told the next, and it came through to me eventually,” Rosenthal says. "I have the history of all of our members, so I looked up all of our Bens."

Rosenthal says that she called and messaged all of the Bens and eventually found the right Ben’s mother.

"She started screaming basically - as much as you can on social media, all caps, very excited,” says Rosenthal.

It turns out that Ben had been eating at the restaurant on Christmas Day and accidentally left the card behind in the parking lot. Israel and his friend dropped the card and the money off at the synagogue on Thursday.

“I feel good about it. It feels good to do a nice thing, especially around the holidays,” Israel says.

Rosenthal says that she plans to return the card and the money to Ben’s family this weekend. She says that says Ben and his family asked her for Israel's contact information so that they can personally thank him.

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