Even the kids got into the act as community members reached a little deeper this year to help the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County help fellow Jews locally and around the world.
Volunteers made calls from the federation’s South River offices on Nov. 28 and 29 and Dec. 5 to those who weren’t reached during the annual Super Sunday phonathon on Nov. 20. The connections they made helped increase the Super Sunday total over last year’s by $17,000. That brought the fund-raiser’s grand total to $511,968.
“We really do believe it was the personal touch that was a part of every call we made,” said federation associate executive director Susan Antman. “Obviously, people responded by giving us back valuable input on what was important to them. I think the success of that strategy was evident both in the number of volunteers we drew and in the fund-raising effort.”
Also boosting the total were the students of Solomon Schechter Day School of Raritan Valley in East Brunswick, who presented $395 to federation representatives during the 28th annual “Magnificent Monday,” traditionally staged within two weeks of Super Sunday.
During the Dec. 5 program, each grade made a presentation highlighting a different program funded by federation, including Shabbat dinners for Rutgers Hillel students, Birthright Israel trips, support for elderly Jews in Poland, and sending children from Israel’s border areas who have been traumatized by terrorism to camp.
Student donations totaling $395 were then presented to federation treasurer Gary Busman.
“We are so proud of the students at the Schechter school,” said Busman. “Their understanding of the many ways federation makes a difference in the lives of Jews locally, in Israel, and around the world is profound. Their teachers and Linda Benish — a social studies and language arts teacher and Magnificent Monday coordinator since its inception — are to also be commended.”
The total raised on and in connection with Super Sunday represents about 25 percent of federation’s annual intake, which is then earmarked through its partner agencies for philanthropic endeavors benefiting the local community, Israel, and Jewish communities around the world.