Dec 20, 2016
400+ Volunteers at 17 Projects Make a Difference on Jewish CommUNITY in Action Day
More than 400 volunteers of all ages from throughout South Palm Beach County’s Jewish community fanned out across the area on Sunday, December 18, 2016 to make a difference for those in need at 17 hands-on projects.
Whether the volunteers prepared food for the hungry, wrapped gifts, gardened, played games or did crafts with children or seniors, or much more, all were inspired and energized by joining with the full vibrant diversity of their Jewish community in helping their less fortunate neighbors.
Jewish CommUNITY in Action Day was presented by the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and its Deborah and Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement (CJE). Boca Raton City Council Member Robert Weinroth and his wife, Pam, were the day’s Honorary Co-Chairs.
The day closed with a joyous recap and concert at the Federation, featuring one of the most popular performers and composers in current Jewish music and his band. As he does across the globe, the internationally renowned Josh Nelson, recently hailed by Time Magazine as a “star of the New Jewish Music,” spread his message of hope, unity and spirituality. Nelson and his band’s high-energy, captivating and deeply moving music made good on its promise of building community in a most fitting cap to the extraordinary day.
The concert crowd in Zinman Hall also heard about how much good is done by the Federation and its community partners every day, from Matthew C. Levin, Federation President & CEO, and Rabbi Josh Broide, who directs the CJE. In addition to the Silvers and Weinroths, Congressman Ted Deutch joined in the celebration.
“What a day… and what a community!” said Levin. “What a difference we’ve made together! But take it from me… I see us coming together to make a difference every day at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. As the convener and central hub of this extraordinary Jewish community, it’s at the very core of our mission to bring us all together in making a positive impact here, in Israel and around the world. Because, together, our individual contributions of time and resources make far more of a difference than we possibly could on our own.”
Jewish CommUNITY Day in Action is an innovative local extension of Jewish Unity Day, the global phenomenon that emerged to continue and strengthen the overwhelming sense of unity experienced by the Jewish world in coming together over the kidnapping and murder of three boys, Naftali, Gilad and Eyal, on their way home from school in Israel during the summer of 2014.
“South Palm Beach County has become synonymous with Jewish Unity, holding the largest and most inclusive Jewish Unity Day observances in the country,” said Rabbi Broide. “Over the past two and a half years, thousands of us here have come together in mourning and solidarity with the boys’ families, and then to reaffirm and celebrate our unity through words from our rabbis and other community leaders. This year, we took UNITY to a whole new level by building on our inspiration and empowerment, reaching out far into our community to see how much of a difference we could make together on one special day. When this Jewish community works together - as we do so well - it seems like there’s nothing we can’t accomplish for the people who need us!”