Super Sunday was beyond super

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The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island kicked off its 2020 Annual Campaign on Sept. 15 with another successful Super Sunday. With the help of enthusiastic volunteers and all the donors who answered their calls, the Alliance has raised more than $64,000 to date. Of the new and increased gifts, up to $10,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar to benefit the Jewish community in Rhode Island and around the world. Carol and David Bazarsky generously added to the success of the day by offering this match for any new gift or gift increase.

The goal of “Power up for Super Sunday” was achieved after only two hours. This was a remarkable effort by more than 30 volunteers, including many first-time volunteers and representatives from a dozen synagogues and agencies. The volunteers received donations from 140 donors.

Jennifer and Michael Oelbaum chaired this year’s Super Sunday event, which was held at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center in Providence. The Oelbaum’s are members of Temple Emanu-El and Jennifer is on the board of directors for the temple.

Jennifer said, “We were so happy to be part of such a wonderful day. We thank everyone for their support.”

Volunteers participated in various competitions and raffles in their efforts to encourage donors to answer the call. Volunteers representing the many the agencies and temples in Rhode Island competed to win a prize for board development, education or training. This year, University of Rhode Island Hillel won the competition and the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island and Congregation Beth Sholom tied for second place.

Other winners were:  James Casey – Rookie of the Year and MVP (Most Valuable Phoner); Amy Weiss –Thank You award (for writing the most thank you notes); Maya Kreiger – a special Youngest Philanthropist Award (she saved her allowance to donate to Super Sunday). Maya is a third-grader at JCDSRI. Raffle items from various businesses were donated, including Evolve Apothecary, Stock and Studio Hop, Providence Bagel, Green River Silver and Kreatelier. A special bench handmade by Aaron Guttin was also raffled.

Children of volunteers had the opportunity to decorate and write thank you cards for donors. They also created decorations for the Alliance’s sukkah.

Dollars raised during the Annual Campaign help fund a variety programs and services that are dedicated to enriching Jewish life in Rhode Island and abroad. The Alliance works to ensure that no one in need goes without – from battered communities overseas lacking food supplies and medicine to impoverished families in need of access, opportunity and employment locally; from young married couples wanting a Jewish life for their families to teens traveling the world to strengthen their Jewish identity.

For more information about the 2020 Annual Campaign, the Jewish Alliance or to make a gift by phone, contact Michele Gallagher at mgallagher@jewishallianceri.org or 401-421-4111, ext. 165. You can also make your gift online at jewishallianceri.org.

SETH FINKLE is development manager at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.