Monday, March 27, 2023

Congratulations to our community upon the 30th successful year of the Bergen County Chanukah Toy Drive! We’d like to acknowledge the vision and contributions of two amazing women.

Marla Friedman started the Bergen County toy drive 30 years ago and poured her heart into running it for the first 20 years, with a goal of uniting the entire Jewish community across Bergen County and involving all of the local synagogues and schools in the united effort to bring Chanukah joy to those in our community and beyond. Joy Sklar (and family) took it over 10 years ago, and had her life (and house!) taken over by the Toy Drive.

With the assistance of Dalia Stelzer and all the volunteers, what they have accomplished over the past several weeks (and months) is truly exceptional. The dedication, organization, incredible leadership and delegation skills are only a few factors that went into delivering thousands and thousands of toys to children through 20-plus organizations.

It was inspiring to see chesed in the forms of countless texts, phone calls, shopping orders and details to the packaging. (What good is a remote-control car without batteries attached to the box?) Most importantly, the goals were not just about getting it done, but making sure that each organization was getting exactly what their children wanted, as well as getting as many children and families across Bergen County to share in the mitzvah of donating and volunteering.

This was a physical effort. An emotional effort. And truly inspiring to be a part of. Our community is so lucky to have these women uniting us in chesed. Yasher koach to all.

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