Super Sunday is the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s annual phone-a-thon fundraiser dating back to the 1980’s. This year’s ‘community call’ had kid-friendly written all over it.
A group of emerging leaders known as the Rishon committee, led by Amie Harrell, committee chair, met their collective goal to unify the community, engage Religious School students, and raise money for a number of local, national, and global organizations and programs such as Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, American Jewish Joint distribution Committee, and Virginia Hillels.
Super Sunday 2020 took place at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus on Sunday, November 17. Jasmine Amitay, UJFT’s Young Leadership Campaign manager, says that UJFT’s Rishon committee, together with 100 adult and student volunteers, raised an estimated $170,000, and connected with 300 community members who committed to the 2020 annual campaign.
“What I found most compelling about Super Sunday was the enthusiasm, not just of the volunteer callers that forfeited time out of their busy weekend schedules, but the donors that gleefully made the choice to give,” says Igor Vaserfirer, a Rishon committee member.
Super Sunday 2020 marked the first year that Religious School students from area synagogues were invited to participate and make calls. The move to foster hands-on philanthropy in students was so positive for everyone that Amitay wants to bring it back next year. Volunteer students came from Ohef Sholom Temple’s seventh grade; Temple Emanuel’s sixth and seventh grades; and Congregation Beth El’s sixth and seventh grades. Students made solicitation and thank-you calls and some even asked for campaign contributions face-to-face.
“We want to establish a new tradition where Religious School students join us every year,” says Amitay. “We hope students will be back next year as volunteers, outside of the Religious School curriculum.”
For more information, contact Jasmine Amitay 757-965- 6138, jamitay@ujft. org. To make a donation go to: jewishva.org/donate. Lisa Richmon may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photographs by Mark Robbins.