Apr 6, 2017
Let’s Talk Super Sunday/Good Deeds Day Success: $576,758 and 20,000 Meals
On April 2, hundreds of volunteers made sure the phones rang out once again from the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County throughout the Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach areas. And hundreds more assembled kosher meal kits for distribution to neighbors in need as part of the international Good Deeds Day.
By the end of the amazing day of community spirit chaired by Talia and Hal Klein, this vibrant, diverse Jewish community had raised $576,758 from 570 donors, and packaged 20,000 wholesome, easily prepared meals kits. Even the very youngest volunteers prepared for Passover with PJ Library mitzvah craft projects to brighten the holiday for clients of the Jacobson Family Food pantry.
“We are here today to celebrate our community, its diversity, its challenges and the manner in which we all do our part to help those in need, because we know how much stronger we are when we work together,” said Hal Klein in his welcome. “Through what you are doing today, Federation and its beneficiary agencies are able to provide the programs and services we all care about right in our neighborhoods, in Israel and around the world.”
From first-timers to those with decades of Super Sunday experience, volunteers from all stages of life made calls in three shifts, many with friends and colleagues from a school or agency, AEPi Fraternity at FAU, or neighbors from a country club. Raffle prizes, selfies, meals, snacks, high energy, great camaraderie and being joined by Congressman Ted Deutch made the day fun and fast-moving.
First time Super Sunday volunteers Andrea and Danny Spandau were “feeling great” after spending the morning making calls. Together, they raised $14,913. “Federation does such great things to take care of our youngest to our oldest in our community, in Israel and around the world where we are needed,” said Danny. Added Andrea, “Federation’s partnerships with agencies, and schools like Donna Klein Jewish Academy where I work, bring us all together for our community and our people.”
Another first timer, young adult Tyler Appleton, accompanied her mother “to help make sure our elderly Jewish neighbors have enough to eat and other life necessities. Even my very first call was successful and I feel so good that my time has made a difference.”
This year a large group of high school age volunteers, who attend the full array of the area’s public and private schools, joined in calling, wearing matching NCSY T-shirts. NCSY Co-Regional Director Ben Gonsher explained, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to not only help others, but to learn about the Federation and how this community works together.”
In the afternoon, hundreds more volunteers streamed into the Loewenstern Cafetorium at Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton on the Federation campus for the Good Deeds Day project. Working energetically to rock music and wearing identical hair coverings, they put together 20,000 kosher meal kits to stock the shelves at the Jacobson Family Food Pantry at JFS, one of the many vital programs supported by our Federation.
A longtime Federation supporter and renowned Jewish community philanthropist, Judy Levis Markhoff was thrilled to spend the afternoon packing meals with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Judy’s son, Matthew Baker, who is currently President of the Adolph and Rose Levis Jewish Community Center named for Judy’s parents, was also joined by JCC Board and staff members. “It fills my heart to have all of us together helping across the generations,” Levis Markhoff said. “Nothing raises my spirit like seeing our family’s values and priorities continue on.”
PJ Library® in South Palm Beach County families like Penina and Aron Schoenfeld and their three children enjoyed the opportunity to engage in such a meaningful project along with other Jewish families who also receive free PJ Library (ages 6 months - 8 years) or PJ Our WayTM (ages 9-11) books at home every month. Both PJ Library and PJ Our Way were sponsors of the Good Deeds Day activity. “PJ programs like today’s provide hands-on reinforcement for the Jewish values shared in the books,” said Aron.
Charne and Paul Sherman came from across the street, where they live at Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences of Boca Raton, right on the Federation campus. “We were so glad for the opportunity to come over and lend a hand,” said Paul.
Many young adults took to the phones, and their generation was very well-represented at the Good Deeds Day food packaging. “We are members and young leaders in this community so we volunteer because we want to give back and help those in need, said Lindsay Cohen, Federation’s Young Adult Division (YAD) Social Action Co-Chair. “This is the third year in a row that YAD has participated in Good Deeds Day and we look forward to returning next year.”
Super Sunday was generously sponsored by HJ Sims, and The Mordis Group/Merrill Lynch. Atlas Party Rental, Hotwire Communications and Zeebeedee were the generous In-Kind Sponsors, and many in the community became Telephone Underwriters and Hunger Heroes to support the event.
If you missed your call, it’s not too late to join your Jewish community in making a difference! Visit jewishboca.org/donate or contact 561.852.3142.