As the saying goes, sometimes just showing up is enough. As they finalized the details for this weekend’s Super Sunday, the chairs and cochairs of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey’s annual fund-raiser were emphatic on that point: Everyone who shows up for the big annual community get-together and phonathon on Dec. 6 will be counted as a volunteer, even if they just come for the fellowship and the “Circusfest” family fun.
The theme for the day is “Just one call can make the difference.” Shari Bloomberg, who is cochairing the event with Mara Levy, said, “We’d love to have everyone make at least one call, but you don’t have to. There will be lots of other things to do. And if you get tired, or you need to leave sooner than you expected, that’s fine. It’s a really easy-going atmosphere.”
Those at home also have their part to play. The organizers know some people dread those calls, but support at any level is welcome, they say. The goal is to raise $500,000.
The event at the Wilf Jewish Community Campus in Scotch Plains runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Periodically throughout the day, there will be training sessions — a 15-minute overview of what the federation system does. They are designed to guide those making calls and to give them a fresh appreciation of what the dollars raised accomplish.
Everyone is welcome to attend the sessions, and anyone who does can get a T-shirt. Bloomberg pointed out that they also will be entered in the Super Sunday raffle. The prize: a trip to Israel.
Levy and Maxine Schwartz are heading up the training sessions. Levy said they will be shorter than in the past, but will include a crucial opening — a chance for participants to say what federation means to them. That could be as assistance in a time of hardship, a window into Jewish culture and fellowship, or — in these times when we all face so many competing requests — a trustworthy way to help those in need.
Some area synagogues are recruiting their members to take part. Temple Sholom in Fanwood and Temple Har Shalom in Warren are both organizing their teen program participants to sign on, to make calls or help out in other ways.
Inspiring people to show up comes easily to Adam Fitzer, a new recruit himself to the Super Sunday committee. Fitzer, who is president of Prime Objective Recruitment, said, “I’m on the phone all day selling myself, and the more I heard about what these people were doing, the more I thought, ‘This is something I can do.’” He was impressed by the dedication of the people he met at the planning meetings. “It became more and more apparent that these folks have a genuine affinity for what the federation is doing,” he said. He set out to inspire others to join them — in whatever way suits them best.
By this past Monday, about 200 had signed up. They are hoping to double that number by Sunday, equaling last year’s total, and maybe take it even higher.