Perhaps you received a call or e-mail from the WRT community checking to make sure you were alright after Hurricane Sandy? Maybe you came to our community dinner for those without power or received assistance from our Caring Community? The end of October into the beginning of November 2012 was difficult for many in our local community and we are so pleased to have helped our members and extended WRT family. But did you know that WRT also reached out to help the greater Westchester community and beyond?
Many joined together in our temple kitchen to cook for those in need. The Social Action Committee hosted a “cooking for local shelters” making salad and hot vegetables for over 100 people, 300 cookies, and dozens of sandwich bags to be passed out to recipients at Hope Community Services, St. Frances AME Church in Port Chester, NY, and additional locations. Women of Reform Judaism along with community members chopped up boxes of Chubby Bunny veggies and made a huge soup for HOPE Community Services. Additional veggies were used to cook three vegetarian lasagnas for Jewish seniors in the Bronx. Our Mercaz students continued our efforts helping to prepare lunches for 180 people in mid-November, and our seventh grade students volunteered at the Food Bank for Westchester in December.
WRT also assisted with supplies, gifts and our hearts. Our temple was proud to be a drop-off point for supplies delivered to UJA-Westchester. WRT filled several SUVs full of food, diapers, formula, and clothing, and members went to UJA to help sort the donations. In mid-Novemeber, the Sharing Shabbat community visited Jewish seniors at the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center in the Bronx, where they distributed hand-made greeting cards and cooked food and sang Shabbat songs. The Sharing Shabbat community also collected and distributed blankets, bottled water, band-aids, and flashlights.
In December almost 40 members of WRT gathered to bring some Chanukah light to children affected by Hurricane Sandy. Family members of all ages helped package and wrap almost 100 stuffed lions – a symbol of the Jewish people and reminding them to have courage at this difficult time in their lives. Our WRT members made almost 100 hand-made cards, with wishes for a Happy Chanukah. Additionally, about $1000 was raised in gift cards to be included in the packages.
At this time this was compiled, WRT was in the process of organizing additional hands-on efforts. WRT offered to join with Woodlands Community Temple for a clean-up and rebuild in the Rockaways in mid-December and there will be more! Sandy relief will continue on and WRT will be there to help.
Want to get more involved? Contact Suzanne.Saperstein@wrtemple.org
and add your name to the list of those we will call upon for future assistance to others.
Where can we volunteer in the community?
Several websites have been set-up with locations and volunteer needs.
Where can we make contributions?
A message from the URJ:
Millions of Americans have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Lives have been lost, homes and businesses have been destroyed, and entire communities have been changed forever. Many are left without power, heat and fuel for cooking or driving.
The Reform Movement has already reached out to impacted communities to offer food, supplies, space, and more and has established the URJ Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund
, which will provide:
Direct funding to congregants who are suffering short- or long-term loss of food, shelter or clothing;
Direct funding to general and Jewish relief agencies in coordination with the Jewish Federations, Nechama – the Jewish Response to Disaster and others.
Direct funding to Reform congregations damaged by the storm to help them resume operations as quickly as possible;
Now more than ever, our community can make a big impact in the lives of those devastated by Sandy. More information about volunteering and additional donation opportunities will be shared next week when it is available.
Please give today.
* 100% of donations minus credit card fees go directly to relief efforts.