If you thought all the fun and excitement would be over Feb. 5 after the Super Bowl (and more importantly for some, the Puppy Bowl), things will be “super” again the following weekend.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia will host Super Sunday Feb. 12 with hundreds of volunteers from the Jewish community to help raise funds for the Jewish Federation.
People of all ages volunteer their time to make phone calls to potential and past donors. New this year, Super Sunday will begin at the Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia to package and deliver food for those in need.
These volunteers are crucial when it comes to fundraising, which goes into the general fund pool that aids numerous Jewish institutions and programs.
These pro volunteers have been calling on behalf of the Jewish Federation for a combined half a century, so they know a thing or two when it comes to Super Sunday.
This will be Alan Sheinberg’s 13th time. In addition to calling, he’s trained many people to speak on the phones.
“Depending upon what’s needed, I’m willing to do either,” said Sheinberg, who has prior experience working in fundraising as a business owner.
“I’ve been involved in the Jewish community and Jewish community work for many years,” he said. “I know the importance of raising money for Jews in our community and also elsewhere, including Israel. I know it doesn’t happen by itself. It requires real effort and commitment from all of us. And I truly believe we’re responsible for each other, and this is a great way to make that happen.”
He never puts a dollar amount on his goals for the day, but plans to spend as much time as he can on the phone and raise as much as possible.
Sheinberg will head to the JRA warehouse in the morning and he registered for a calling shift in the afternoon, but he said he’ll “hang around as long as I’m needed.”
He is co-chair of the Bucks County Jewish Coalition and is on the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees; the Policy, Strategy and Funding Committee; and the North American board of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Now that he is retired, he said he has more time to devote to Jewish organizations with “more gusto.”
“It’s just work that I enjoy doing,” he said.
David Gold is also active in several Jewish Federation-related organizations: the Partnership2Gether (P2G) Philadelphia-Netivot-Sedot Negev committee, the Kehillah of Chester County, the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees, Federation’s LGBT affinity group, and the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools.
This will be Gold’s 25th Super Sunday, and now he mainly trains callers — he explains how to fill out a pledge card and what to say to donors — and provides moral support for the Chester County high schoolers who help out.
“I love training the kids especially that have never made calls before because they’re just so excited and they feel really good even before they get on the phones,” he said.
But the most important thing he teaches the kids is to smile on the phone.
“If you smile, people can really kind of [feel] that on the phone,” he said. “Especially when the kids are calling, because they’re calling mostly smaller donors. It’s like the one touch a year that some of the donors get, so we want the kids to be enthusiastic and ready to go — and the adults, too.”
Marc Prine started volunteering for Super Sunday 12 years ago with Hillel at Temple University.
“Hillel always likes to get students out to support the organization,” he said. “And ever since I got involved with what’s now NextGen in the Jewish Federation, I’ve been going regularly.”
Prine is on the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees and is the chair of NextGen.
“[Super Sunday] is always a good way for people to come out and see where the money goes, get to help and be a part of it,” he added. “There’s a lot of people who expect the call on Super Sunday and they’ve been getting the call on Super Sunday for years, and the person who’s just happy to be able to write their $18 or $36 check sometimes makes them feel good, so that’s always nice. That’s my favorite part: the person who’s really proud to be able to give their gift.”
In some ways, Prine said Super Sunday feels more like a community event than a fundraiser.
“You’ll see the Chabad rabbi sitting next to the Reconstructionist rabbi — all the different synagogues come out and support,” he noted. “It’s awesome to see what Philadelphia can do in a day when we put our differences aside and focus on how similar we are in the community.”
The JRA food distribution will be at 10980 Dutton Road from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Three calling shifts will follow until 8 p.m. (Also, BYOC — Super Sunday is going wireless, so bring your cellphone and charger to make calls.)
For more information or to register for the day, visit jewishphilly.org/supersunday.
Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0737