Participation in 2016 Week of Extraordinary Deeds exceeds expectations

by | Nov 20, 2015 | Featured

The week of October 19-25 was billed as an extraordinary one for the Tidewater Jewish community.

Volunteers worked on committees and with the staff at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, planning events to help make life better for others, while also strengthening the community by working together to embrace the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.

Whether the week would be more than ordinary wasn’t guaranteed.

Would the community respond to the UJFTidewater Facebook campaign to Try a Mitzvah every day? Would individuals agree to talk with UJFT ambassadors about the 2016 Annual Campaign, to both be heard and to better understand how their financial gifts make a huge impact toward meeting today’s challenges on a local and global scale?

Would women show up for the inaugural, ambitious Great Big Challah Bake, which itself was a lead-in to the community’s involvement in the worldwide Shabbos Project? And finally, after all the events previous six days, would people still have the energy to participate in the community’s 2nd Annual Mitzvah Day?

The answers to all of those questions proved to be a resounding, “Yes.”

“This year’s Week of Extraordinary Deeds, or ‘The Week,’ as it’s becoming known, is an indelible testament to the generosity, hard work and selfless efforts that is an ongoing legacy of the Tidewater Jewish community,” says Harry Graber, executive vice-president of the UJFT.

“The impact of the week’s activities is as close as the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, which became a true Jewish Community Center for more than 450 women, men, children, families and friends who volunteered to do mitzvot, and as far away as remote Israel Defense Forces outposts, where soldiers will soon receive care packages and letters of support sent from Tidewater as part of the Thank Israeli Soldiers Mitzvah Day project.”

Alex Pomerantz, UJFT senior development officer and liaison for the week’s events, called the community’s efforts outstanding. He noted the efforts of Shana Danziger and Jodi Schwartz, Challah Bake co-chairs, Mitzvah Day chairs Karen Kendall and Deb Yarow, and their committee members from the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project and ATID alumni groups, UJFT volunteer ambassadors, and the hundreds of community members who participated.

Pomerantz extended additional thanks to the Allegro band for providing live entertainment, to Mr. Shawarma, for setting up a pop-up restaurant for the afternoon, and to Dani Byers, the 12-year-old artist who provided 18 days of social media images and content for “The Week.”

by Laine M. Rutherford