April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Chanukah Boutique Raises Over $35K for NATAL

The baked goods table emptied quickly.

“It began as a bake sale initiated by Ruti Galandauer,” said Joanne Zayat, “but then as the core group got together we realized we had the potential to raise more money and help more people, as well as partner with another organization for a toy drive; and the entire process unfolded.”

With a grassroots group fueled by the principle of “the power of one,” the bake sale idea snowballed into a Chanukah “mini boutique,” with a ripple effect expanding into a multi-vendor event that ended up a lot more like a “maxi-boutique.” The boutique included a raffle and literally filled the entire wall-to-wall space in the community hall at Temple Emeth on December 5.

The group chose NATAL as their focus organization for the funds to be raised by this event. NATAL’s mission is to provide assistance to Israelis suffering from trauma primarily due to terrorism and war, and ensuring the vital health and well-being of Israel for now and for the future.

Jewelry vendors were swamped with buyers.

American Friends of NATAL engages in innovative collaborations, partnering with U.S. organizations who seek NATAL’s expertise in the field of trauma preparedness and recovery. Zayat continued: “We felt that there are many worthy organizations which are extremely visible in the States, but felt the work of NATAL is extremely important now more than ever. They are some of the unsung heroes of today. The needs are so great, and we felt their mission aligned with our feelings.”

NATAL describes itself as “the go-to organization for trauma treatment in Israel.” Following the horrific events of October 7, 2023, NATAL reports: “Our helpline experienced a massive increase in calls, more than 5,000 calls daily, requiring many more volunteers and staff than we’ve ever been asked to field. Trauma doesn’t always leave visible scars, but its effects can be profound. Healing is possible. Though invisible, these wounds run deep and NATAL is here to help.”

Aviva Einhorn served as the engine behind media management and marketing the boutique. “We are tremendously appreciative to The Jewish Link for being a corporate sponsor, along with MW Event Lighting,” she said. “MW Lighting generously donated his time, set up the lights and lit the room and hallway in blue for Israel.” Einhorn added that Frisch and Ma’ayanot seniors helped with set-up.

Boutique committee: Joanne Zayat, Aviva Einhorn, Tzippy Cohnen, Allison Adler, Maayan Aviv (executive director, American Friends of NATAL), Ruti Galandauer, Elana Nayowitz, Meryl Hoffman.

Asked about how a bake sale transformed into a multi-vendor boutique, Zayat revealed: “We publicized, and via word of mouth. Once people heard what we were doing and the multifaceted parts of the event, everybody wanted to be a participant.

“It was incredible. People were extraordinarily generous. Now that the event is behind us, we look forward to helping NATAL have a larger presence in the United States, as well as developing a more active young leadership and young professional audience.”

Apparently the baked goods completely sold out. But there were vendors of every kind, including artwork, jewelry, clothing, novelty socks, wigs, toys, hats, snacks, handmade items and more. One vendor, Nikki from Englewood, who hand-made beautiful blue and white hair bows, donated 100% of sales to NATAL.

Bagels and Sox.

Einhorn shared that over 66 companies donated goods or services for the raffle, 26 vendors brought their art and wares for the sale, and 234 people completed forms to bake. (Had they all been accepted, a stadium would have been required.)

Zayat reports that over $35,000 will be donated. “We were very cognizant of keeping overhead minimal in order to be able to donate all the money to NATAL.” For those who paid via the portal or by check, she noted that the organization can issue receipts for tax verification purposes.

Allison Adler served in communal outreach; Tzippy Cohnen coordinated headquarters; Ruti Galandauer headed finance and technology; Elana Nayowitz and Debbie Haramati handled print media; and Meryl Hoffman covered décor, logistics and inventory.

And best of all: You can still donate!

Nikki from Englewood donated 100% of her sales of handmade hairbands and bows.


Frisch seniors Aiden Cohen, Hudson Shatzkes, Leah Suss, Jordie Borenstein, Ariella Blank, Ezra Berkowitz.

Visit: https://afnatal.networkforgood.com/projects/106213-main-giving-page

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