Community called upon to ‘give big’

Community called upon to ‘give big’

THE ONLY IDF soldier to lose an arm in combat and return to the battlefield will be the featured speaker when the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ holds the BIG GIVE — a variation of the annual Super Sunday — on Sunday, Dec. 4. The community-wide fund-raising event will be held at two locations, JCC MetroWest in West Orange and the JCC of Central NJ in Scotch Plains. Chairing the event in West Orange are Shari Brandt of Short Hills and Adina Brownstein of South Orange, and in Scotch Plains, Linda and Peter Weissbrod of Scotch Plains. 

“Super Sunday has always been both a fun and an important day, when we come together to raise the funds needed to make possible work like providing meals for seniors, connecting young people with their heritage, supporting our partner communities in Israel, and much more,” said Brandt. “But this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better. I hope lots of people come out to see what an amazing Jewish community we have here.”

Activities will begin at 9 a.m. at both locations — including making fund-raising calls, fitness classes, a basketball tournament, programming for kids, mitzva projects, and live call-in with partner communities in Israel — and will run until 2 p.m. in West Orange and 3 p.m. in Scotch Plains. Gift vendors will also be plying their wares.

Speaker Izzy Ezagui was born in Brooklyn and is now an Israeli citizen. A decorated squad commander in the IDF, he is the only soldier known to have lost an arm in battle and returned to combat. While continuing to serve in an elite unit in the reserves, Ezagui speaks on motivation, success, overcoming obstacles, and life in the Israeli army.

The BIG GIVE is part of a new federation initiative called GIVEMBER, 25 days of community building and fund-raising events that run from Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29) through the first night of Hanukka (Dec. 24). The Giving Tuesday event, Cook with Your Heart, will enable volunteers at three locations throughout the area to prepare hot meals for those in need and/or deliver them to clients of local agencies. There will also be a month-long food drive with three drop-off locations and numerous other opportunities to socialize, volunteer, and support federation programming. 

The BIG GIVE is sponsored by GPS: General Plumbing Supply.

“There are going to be so many ways for members of our community to not only give to the campaign but also to give of their time and effort,” said Linda Weissbrod, adding that there will be many opportunities “to learn new things, make friends, and have a great time.”

Child care will be available from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. so parents may participate; a calling session and program for teens will be held in Scotch Plains.

To register as a volunteer and for a complete schedule, visit or contact Norma Strickland at 973-929-3057 or For information on GIVEMBER, visit or contact Lydia Dorsky at or 973-929-2977.

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