Looking to Expand and Grow Beyond Passaic
When we think of miracles, typically our minds travel to events of mass proportions, like the splitting of the Red Sea or the extraordinary jug of oil that burned for eight days in the time of the Maccabees. All too often we lose sight of the small miracles that happen throughout our lives, frequently
accompanied by a hefty dose of hashgacha pratis, clear evidence of Hashem’s guiding hand as we go about our day-to-day activities. For Marc Goldfarb, it was a chain of seemingly unrelated occurrences that culminated in a wonderful meeting that reunited his father, Joel Goldfarb, with a dear friend decades after they had last spoken. Goldfarb grew up on Long Island and, like so many other children of the suburbs, was an avid lacrosse player. “I grew up with Irish and Italian kids and we all played lacrosse,” explained Goldfarb. “My friends went on to college and continued playing, some on scholarships. My interests turned more towards my career at that point in my life, but lacrosse has always held a special place in my heart.”
Fast forward quite a few years, and Goldfarb found himself with a wife and two children, comfortably ensconced in Passaic’s Jewish community. “I have been here for eleven years and so many people, from the rabbis to my new friends, have been so nice to me,” said Goldfarb. “I looked around to see what I could do to give back to others. Lacrosse had been very much a part of me as a kid so I started a Sunday lacrosse program.” Since its inception four years ago, Chevra Lacrosse has been teaching second through sixth grade students from local yeshivas how to throw and catch. Over time, the boys in the Sunday program progressed to playing with full equipment, learning how to scoop, dodge, face off and play intramural scrimmages as they enjoyed what has been categorized by some as the fastest growing high school sport in America.
Looking to take his pint-sized lacrosse players to the next level, Goldfarb invited Max Landow, a former Wesleyan College lacrosse player, to be a guest coach at Chevra Lacrosse after the two met through a business acquaintance. That was when the wheels of providence began to turn in earnest. After hearing that Landow was having a birthday, Goldfarb took the opportunity to convey his birthday wishes and noticed a picture online of Landow posing with a familiar face. Jill Jampolis, the woman in the photograph, was the sister of one of Goldfarb’s former acquaintances at Camp Swago in Callicoon, New York. She was also Landow’s mother. After making that connection, Goldfarb was shocked to find out that the relationship between his family and Landow’s went back yet another generation. “Jill’s father, Keith Jampolis, and my father were waiters at a sleepaway camp together,” he related. Both men are now in their eighties and had been out of touch for many years since their summers at Camp Mohaph. “They have now spoken and reunited, with laughs and memories that are not to be forgotten,” said Goldfarb. It was Max Landow’s kindness and willingness to give of himself for Chevra Lacrosse that set in motion the events that culminated with the two octogenarians rekindling their friendship. “If Max Landow hadn’t done a chesed and come out to Passaic and been a guest coach for our program, this never would have happened,” said Goldfarb. “This shows us that giving to others, without wanting anything in return, can truly create miracles.”
By Sandy Eller