Last week was the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
The aftermath of the storm provided an opportunity for us to live our values and fulfill our mission: to care, to build, and to save.
A particular highlight of our emergency efforts was the work that Greater MetroWest did in Union Beach – a community devastated by the hurricane. We sent more than 600 people from all over our community (plus some of our partners in Israel!) to do hands-on work to help rebuild. But our efforts not only repaired their world, it helped to expand ours. We saw the power of the collective as we took on the challenge of building a home together. And we learned that we can live our Jewish values in the secular community. Each of those who volunteered their time is a hero in the eyes of the community.
Last Tuesday night, my colleague Stacey Brown had an opportunity to reflect on our work in Union Beach at the Montclair Art Museum. Stacey was a member of the panel discussing the documentary Heart of the Shore, which tells the story of the rebuilding of 12 homes. Kol HaKavod to Stacey and the members of our community, Mickey Gottlieb and Eric Harvitt, who were featured in the film.
One of the positive outgrowths of these post-Sandy efforts was the establishment of our Center for Volunteerism. The Center has enabled so much good these past few years, for the Jewish and non-Jewish community.
Stay tuned for more programming from the Center for Volunteerism, including our Community Challah Bake on February 9. And we’ll keep you posted when Heart of the Shore comes out in theaters for all to see.
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