With a new focus, name, location, and activities to engage young and old, the annual Super Sunday fund-raiser of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County is no longer just a phonathon.
Super Sunday Community Action Day, to be held Nov. 18 on the Douglass College campus in New Brunswick, will showcase the vital work of federation in helping the Jewish community locally, in Israel, and in communities around the world. Entertainment, social action projects, and an educational component will round out the event.
“We wanted to bring Super Sunday more in alignment with our new mission statement to create a vibrant community and transmit that sense of community to the next generation,” said federation executive director Gerrie Bamira.
“We will have child-friendly projects and mitzva projects.We wanted to bring the community together to celebrate what we do.”
Last year’s Super Sunday, which was held at the federation’s South River offices, raised $511,968 — including donations from people who were not home that day but were called later — an increase of $15,000 over the previous year. This year’s goal is $545,000.
Bamira said she believed greater community exposure to the way federation projects and services bolster the Jewish community will help to boost donations.
Contributions are earmarked for day schools, synagogues, and local agencies as well as projects in Israel and more than 60 countries worldwide.
“By turning Super Sunday into a community day and letting the community see where their dollars go, people will see all the good federation does,” said event cochair Naomi Lasky of Somerset. “We hope people will make federation part of their lives because it’s an important ongoing lesson that we need to take care of our own.”
Lasky, who served as Super Sunday chair several years ago, is reprising her role “because I wanted to be part of this exciting new venture,” she said. “We have a lot of riches in our community, and this is a good way for people to see what we have to offer.”
Another cochair, Marlene Herman of Edison, said that this year’s Super Sunday will offer “something for everyone.” Support is especially important during the current economic crisis, which has strained agencies that provide critical social services.
“We all know the economy is not good and the population in greater Middlesex County is aging,” said Herman, a Super Sunday trainer for many years. “That is one of the areas we support — extending services to the elderly and homebound. We also underwrite educational endeavors within the community for people of all ages.”
The federation and local Jewish community are fortunate to have longtime committed professional, religious, and lay leaders, she said; a pledge to federation helps to make their goals a reality.
“When people make a pledge it adds to the aggregate and we are able to do good works that benefit everybody,” said Herman.