Sunday, June 04, 2023

Thanks for the Shoes, Jewish Link and Bergen County Communities

On behalf of the Fair Lawn Chapter of Hadassah, I would like to thank the Jewish Link community, the Fair Lawn community as well as the many people from the surrounding towns in Bergen County for donating shoes to our shoe drive. The drive ended “officially” July 5 but we continued collecting shoes until they were picked up on July 22 by our sponsoring organization Funds2Org.com. The success of the drive was in large part due to the article that was run in The Jewish Link advertising the event (“Fair Lawn Hadassah Launches Shoe Drive Collection,” June 23, 2016).

I asked people where they heard about it and many said they saw it in the “Link.” We had donors coming from Fort Lee, Bergenfield, Teaneck as well as Fair Lawn—all over. You are providing a great service.

We collected 27 bags of shoes. Over 675 pairs of shoes were donated—and avoided the landfill—and will be on the feet of others in the very near future. Many of you expressed gratitude for the drive as you were waiting for an opportunity to donate shoes that had more life in them! We learned that people have shoes just filling up their closets that they do not want to simply throw away. We would encourage Scout troops and other community organizations to consider sponsoring a shoe drive in the very near future, perhaps together with a coat drive, to benefit the needy this winter. The supply is out there and the need is great.

Leslie Felner

Co-President, Fair Lawn Chapter of Hadassah


Middlesex County Hatzolah Seeks Family Carnival Sponsors

A few years ago, I was asked to be on the board of a new locally based branch of Hatzolah, a volunteer emergency medical service, which would serve Edison and its surrounding area(s). After many meetings, hard work and extreme generosity on the part of a few collective individuals, Hatzolah of Middlesex County was launched in November of 2014. It began with 10 EMT responders and 11 dispatchers. Since then, Hatzolah of Middlesex County has grown to 22 responders and 18 dispatchers.

We have had the opportunity to touch the lives of many people and families throughout the community by helping them in their time of need. Baruch Hashem, we have received excellent feedback and praise—not just from the people whose lives we’ve touched, but also from physicians, hospital staff and other agencies that we’ve interacted with such as the local police and EMS departments.

Running an EMS organization is expensive, requiring gasoline for the ambulance, radios for the responders and dispatchers, first aid supplies, medications like Epi-Pens, defibrillators, oxygen tanks, licensing, insurance and more. There are many dedicated volunteer dispatchers and responders who sacrifice precious family time or time from their jobs to run to the aid of someone in the community at any hour of the day or night, regardless of whether it is during the week or on Shabbat or Yom Tov. The people who administer the organization 24/7 are also volunteers. Their personal dedication is awesome. Unfortunately, dedication and sacrifice do not pay the bills.

This September 11, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Hatzolah of Middlesex County will be hosting a family carnival to raise funds to support our crucial work. The event will be held at 71 Ethel Road West in Piscataway Township, one of the local towns we serve. There will be many different attractions, prizes and raffles and we encourage everyone to come out and support our organization.

While we look forward to seeing everyone at the carnival, I am reaching out now regarding the opportunity to help sponsor this event. Sponsorships are available at levels for a range of personal or business budgets as follows: Event Sponsor: $5,000; Platinum Sponsor: $3,600; Gold Sponsor: $1,800; Silver: $1,000; Bronze: $500. Anyone interested in a personal or business sponsorship can reach me by phone at 848-391-8697 or email at [email protected]

Another way for people to help is to enroll in a monthly automatic PayPal donation of $18 or more. This can be done by visiting our donations page found on our website at www.HatzolahMC.org.

Hatzolah of Middlesex County is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and donations are tax deductible.

Wishing you a healthy and safe summer.

Avi Bodlander


Thank You, Teaneck!

Illness, loss of a job, family turmoil or just the high cost of Jewish living often makes obtaining clothing for growing families difficult. Last week, the greater Teaneck Community rallied together, donated their clothing and gave generously of their time and energy to help make the fifth annual Teaneck Children’s clothing drive at Keter Torah a huge success! Over 100 individuals came to shop free of charge and free of stress for their families. Together, they filled up over 600 large bags of children’s clothing, shoes and coats for their respective families. This incredibly successful project was made possible by every clothing donor who cleaned their closet and dropped off clothing; all the volunteers who staffed and ran the two-week-long event and Keter Torah and Five Star Catering, who allowed the use of their catering hall for the entire event. All remaining clothing after the clothing drive ended was donated to Yad Leah—an additional 200 large bags! Additionally, proceeds of close to $1000 from any voluntary donations from the “shopping” week, as well as through sales of the clothing at the rummage sale held on the last day, was given to Yad Leah to help defray the cost of sending that extra clothing to families in Israel.

Yad Leah is a NJ-based organization that collects new and gently used adult and children’s clothing and sends that clothing to needy families in Israel. Yad Leah maintains a drop-off site in Teaneck for year-round donations. Yad Leah recently opened up a volunteer center in Passaic, NJ and is open to school, family, shul and bar/bat mitzvah events to enjoy a 90-minute hands-on chessed for Israel experience.

Dalia Stelzer and Chana Shields

Keep the Children at Home

Kudos to Rabbi Wallace Greene for an outstanding article this past week (“Do Young Children Belong in Shul?”, August 11, 2016). I am also a firm believer that there is a time and place for children in shul. So many times I’ve been to shul on the Yamim Noraim only to have children sleeping in the seats, Cheerios strewn all over the floor, baby paraphernalia all over. When we had young children, we worked hard to find babysitters to stay home with our kids and if we couldn’t we just didn’t come to shul. A shul sanctuary is not a place for mommies to hang out with their babies while davening is going on.

Gail Hochman

Fair Lawn, NJ

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