June 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Seth Perlmutter, DMD, Collects Treats for Troops

A dentist collecting candy? Who would ever think of such a thing? And yet, that’s exactly what Seth Perlmutter, DMD, and his wife, Elana, decided their dental practice, Woodcliff Family Dental, would do this past November. Right after Halloween they launched a candy buy-back program. Kids who came in with their candy received $1 per pound, up to five pounds (and did not have to be a patient). The program was a huge success and they collected nearly 400 lbs of candy!

According to Elana Perlmutter, “We donated some of the candy to Operation Gratitude, an organization that supports veterans, first responders and deployed troops. Then my brother, Ron Siesser, told us about an organization in Riverdale, The Major Stuart Adam Wolfer Institute (MSAWI), which was created by Beverly Wolfer, the sister of an American Jewish soldier who was killed while serving overseas. She collects items for care packages to send to our troops. We immediately felt connected given that it was an American Jewish soldier and wanted to help by donating the rest of the candy to her organization.

“We were so surprised by how much candy was donated by kids all over Bergen County,” Dr. Perlmutter shared. “A few traveled far distances to donate. There are a lot of people who feel very connected to our troops, we were very touched by the response.”

MSAWI was established so that the memory and legacy of Major Stuart Adam Wolfer, who was killed in the Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, would continue to live on and to inspire future generations of children, adults and leaders. Major Wolfer was proud to be an American Jewish soldier and was committed to serving his country.

Beverly Wolfer told The Jewish Link, “During my brother’s two deployments, we would send care packages to Stuart and to other soldiers as well, both Jewish and non-Jewish. While we were sitting shiva, people asked what they could do to honor his legacy. My friend created a 501(c)3 and the Institute was created. In general, people want to do good out there but don’t know how. When you provide people with the opportunity, they rise and do it. We have so much to be thankful for and it’s because of our military.”

Beverly indicated that the Institute has no paid staff. Everything they collect and the money raised goes toward postage and care-package items. It’s a true labor of love. Throughout the year they have different activities, both educational and fun, including an annual event at Congregation Ramat Orah in Manhattan, where they prepare 1,500 care packages in one day. They have a mini boot camp and military academy, as well as thank you writing stations. The event brings together people from all different backgrounds—Jewish, not Jewish, Korean and Vietnam War veterans, children and adults, people who know the Wolfers and community members. “Every single care package has a note so that the recipients realize people are thinking about them,” Beverly stressed. Come by on May 3, 2020, to help support our Troops. Throughout the year bar and bat mitzvah children reach out to MSAWI so that they can incorporate care-package preparation into their celebrations.

When the Perlmutters contacted Beverly, the timing was perfect. She was beginning to prepare packages for Veterans Day and the Perlmutters’ candy went into those packages. As a matter of fact, they donated so much candy, that MSAWI will have candy to put into packages for some time. A special thank you to Stephanie Minkove, who was instrumental in coordinating the communication and delivery of the candy to MSAWI.

To learn more about Woodcliff Family Dental, visit www.woodclifffamilydental.com. To learn more about MSAWI, visit www.msawi.org.�

By Sara Kosowsky Gross

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