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It's Time to Heed the Call!

January 19, 2006 By:
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Alan Prushan

It's time to make phone calls - and make a difference.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's Super Sunday - the largest, single day of volunteerism and fundraising in the Jewish community - will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12.

"Super Sunday is an opportunity to be part of a community-wide effort to raise millions of dollars for Jewish education, Jews at risk, and to help support Jewish life around the world," said Mary Relles, Super Sunday co-chair with Alan Prushan.

Before encouraging others to give, all volunteers are asked to first make a gift of their own.

For Relles, a 20-year Federation veteran who's co-chaired Federation's Bux-Mont Region's Super Sunday and served as its campaign chair, said that "making my gift expresses my gratitude. Every Jew has a responsibility to help other Jews."

Prushan said he gives "because 48 years ago, my grandfather received support from what is now HIAS and Council Migration Service, which is helped with Federation funds, to bring his family from France to Canada. I am an American Jew today because of Federation."

For the first time, Super Sunday will have a theme -Tu B'Shevat.

"Just like the trees that we celebrate on this holiday, we must strengthen our roots so that no wind or storm can interrupt our growth," explained Prushan.

Also this year is the addition of a new calling site, the Jewish Community Services Building, 2100 Arch St. in Philadelphia, bringing the total number of venues to seven.

"Federation is making Super Sunday a more local event," said Prushan. "It is exciting that each community is taking on ownership to make the overall day a success, and that includes their synagogues, kehillot, schools and youth groups. Super Sunday is not only a Federation event, but acts as a convener to pull the community together for a greater cause."

Prushan, with 12 years of Super Sunday experience, said that for him, training volunteers is one of his favorite aspects of the day: "It's great to inspire people and give them the confidence to have a good conversation and leave others with a good feeling."

Relles said she "just loves meeting all the people, and the sense of community the day creates. Super Sunday gives everyone a chance to perform a mitzvah. I look forward to the day my grandchildren will volunteer."

She recalled bringing her four adult children to Super Sunday when they were kids and urges others to do the same. "Let them know at an early age how Federation helps Jews in need and helps build the community they live in."

Relles' husband, Nathan has also been involved in Super Sunday for more than 20 years.

Prushan said that he, his wife Carol, and their two children - Joel, 11, and Simon, 7 - are also "Super Sunday vets. They attend supervised programs that are provided so that parents can make calls. Also, Joel made his first gift when he was 7."

Looking forward to all the activity marked by Feb. 12, Prushan said that the number of volunteers that turn out is really the most important number of the day: "It's simple, the more people we have on the phones, the more people who can be helped."

Super Sunday Platinum sponsors are the Jewish Exponent, Klapholz's Kosher Delicatessen and the NCO group.

To volunteer for Super Sunday or for information on locations, shifts and child care, call 215-832-0630 or log on to: www.jewishphilly.org/supersunday.

 

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