There was a lovely moment at the JCC of Bayonne the other day. It symbolized everything we uphold: collaboration between lots of different Jewish organizations, helping the vulnerable, promoting Jewish values, and more.
The “Carelink” program of our Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ partnered with the JCC in West Orange, the United Synagogue of Hoboken, Next Dor, JYAH Jewish Young Adults of Hoboken, and Temple Beth-El of Jersey City to assemble and deliver kosher-for-Passover food packages. It’s a program that was developed by JFS about 20 years ago, to make a single day of volunteering on a particular project. For many years, Carelink has aimed to visit and deliver kosher-for-Passover meals to isolated elderly residents without nearby family and who can’t shop for or prepare a Pesach meal.
Food for the packages has come from private donations, our Federation’s highly-successful ‘Supermarket Sweep,’ and through a grant from the amazing Iris Teen Tzedakah Program.
My colleagues told me about one couple who volunteer for Carelink each year. They loved visiting an elderly couple, who “are a testament to a lifetime of love and commitment. These visits always continue to teach us about life and (we) would like to wish you and yours a very Happy Passover and thank you for all your efforts throughout the many years – past, present, and future.”
Seventy isolated older adults and individuals with special needs are having a sweeter, warmer, and tastier Passover because of our partners.
But dozens of volunteers also found a more meaningful Pesach. They know what many of us in the community have learned about service and volunteerism projects: these projects enrich us, they deepen our understanding of ourselves. And they make life more meaningful.
A very Happy Passover, chag sameach, to us all.
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