With Super Sunday a little more than a month away, on Dec. 6, the organizers of the annual fund-raiser have moved into high gear. With ambitious plans for a family-centered day packed with activities, they have plenty to do.
As event cochairs Shari Bloomberg of Elizabeth and Mara Levy of Scotch Plains reminded their committee members at a recent meeting, the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey depends on its annual campaign, and this is the largest community-wide fund-raiser on behalf of that campaign. The challenge, they pointed out, is all the more urgent this year.
Bloomberg said she is hoping for a chance to unite the entire local Jewish community, “regardless of age, geographic location, or denomination, to increase awareness of challenges faced by Jews across the globe and to create a sense of responsibility toward and caring for one another.”
Typically, the Super Sunday phonathon raises around 10 percent of the campaign’s total, targeted this year at $5 million. Added to that is the money from school and synagogue tzedaka collections and a swim-athon as well as the new toys, books, and supermarket products donated in the weeks leading to that Sunday.
This past Sunday, Oct. 25, you could see teen members of the Super Sunday team already in action at the A&P store in Warren. They were collecting donated packages of diapers and other items for clients of Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey. Next Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., others will be outside the A&P store in Clark, and on Sunday, Nov. 15, they will be at the Pathmark on Elmora Avenue in Elizabeth.
The “Supermarket Sweeps” are just one of the ways parents can involve their children in a shared experience of helping others. One of the highlights on Dec. 6 will be a family scavenger hunt at Super Sunday headquarters, the Wilf Jewish Community Campus in Scotch Plains. Stacy Friedman, its main organizer, said it will provide parents and their kids with a chance to have fun together while learning more about federation programs in New Jersey and in Israel.
Friedman said, “We’re hoping it will inspire people to start supporting us if they haven’t before, and to do more if they’re already involved.” They will have a few hours to track down and solve all kinds of clues in various parts of the building. For those they solve, there will be a bunch of small prizes to be redeemed at the end.
Her approach was perfectly aligned with what the committee leaders have in mind. “I am hoping that people come away from Super Sunday with a better understanding of how much support federation gives our community not only on a global level, but very locally right here in Scotch Plains,” said co-vice chair Ellen Zimmerman of Scotch Plains.
The other vice chair, Westfield resident Lisa Israel, said she is hoping they reach as many people as possible and that “we can get across why everyone’s support for what federation does is so important to our Jewish community.”