Community action

Community action

The storm that ripped through the region last month — wreaking havoc on the Jersey shore, crippling New York’s transit system, and throwing nearly all of us into darkness — was a reminder of our vulnerability. Unfortunately, even in fair weather, many people need no such reminders. Elderly people managing on fixed incomes, recently laid-off professionals trying to pay their bills, and families of children with special needs all know the anxiety of uncertainty.

Across an ocean, families in Israel also know that anxiety. Although a fragile ceasefire remains in effect as of this writing, people living in Israel’s South never forget where the nearest bomb shelter is. They still comfort anxious children. They still welcome gestures of support from friends abroad.

During both these recent crises, the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ mobilized a community-wide response — with special mailboxes for donations to assist local storm victims and support for Israel as it came under attack. Its partnership agencies here helped coordinated recovery efforts in areas hit hard by Sandy, and its professionals and volunteers in Israel made sure residents there got all they needed.

Meanwhile, year in and year out, in good times and bad, the federation is there to assist those navigating life’s everyday storms and crises. The federation supports local agencies that provide assistance to seniors and counseling to individuals and families. It assists those for whom the high cost of Jewish education and summer camping is prohibitive. And of course it helps the vulnerable in Israel, through a series of overseas partnerships that support everything from a bomb shelter on a front-line kibbutz, to empowerment programs for Ethiopian immigrants, to a small business incubator in the developing South.

To celebrate this mission and support its activities, the federation has designated Dec. 2 as Super Sunday. Appropriately, this year’s all-day fund-raiser is being called a “Celebration of Community,” the first since the merger of the two federations that now proudly call themselves “Greater MetroWest.”

From 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., volunteers and supporters will gather in Whippany and Scotch Plains for a massive, volunteer-driven “phonathon” intended to raise money and awareness for critical services at home and abroad.

A full day of programs will include a “Rock and Wrap” mitzva project for families; collections of food, non-prescription medications, warm coats, and blood donations; and an array of Judaica vendors.

As many of us learned during and after Superstorm Sandy and the rain of rockets on Israel, a community is tested by the actions it performs when the needs are greatest. The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ is dedicated to mobilizing community action all year round. To assist them in their work, answer the call on Super Sunday.

To register for the phonathon and for the complete Super Sunday schedule, visit or call 973-929-3010.

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