April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Spending Winter Break Helping Others

While his friends and classmates posted pictures from beaches and ski slopes around the globe, Jeremy Finkelstein, a sixth grader at Yavneh Academy in Paramus, spent his winter break here in Teaneck, helping others. In preparation for his bar mitzvah next December, Jeremy has been doing mitzvah projects for Jewish Family Service. Shopping early in the morning, Jeremy and his mom filled grocery carts with non-perishable food: peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, oatmeal, canned vegetables, etc. After bringing them to the JFS office on Teaneck Road, Jeremy worked all morning stocking the shelves.

“Right after the shelves were stocked this morning, a client came in, so happy to see some of the new donations,” remarked Nikki Milch, a social work intern in the Aid and Advocacy department of Jewish Family Service. “She is an elderly woman, and is unable to carry a lot of groceries at once. Rather than coming in once a month, she has permission to come more frequently, as she can only take a few items at a time. She loves the flavored oatmeal, and it was a real treat for her to see it on the shelves.”

As the temperatures drop and the streets fill with snow, the demand for nutritious food rises among clients of the Jewish Family Service Food Pantry. With children home from school during winter break, many of our Orthodox clients have increased food needs during the month of January. Serving over 800 clients, the Food Pantry has seen demand jump by 60 percent over the past twelve months.

Jeremy has already signed up for his next big mitzvah project with JFS. He, along with several of his friends, will be riding in the Wheels-for-Meals Ride to Fight Hunger on Sunday, June 19. With a choice of riding 3, 10, 25, 35 or 50 miles, individual riders, teams and families can register to be part of this annual event. Over the past five years, the Ride to Fight Hunger has raised over $450,000 to feed at-risk members of our community through the food bank and the kosher meals-on-wheels program. JFS volunteers deliver over 28,000 meals each year to elderly and disabled homebound individuals. The Ride serves not only as one of Jewish Family Service’s largest fundraisers, but as a method of raising the profile of the issue of hunger in the community. Jeremy’s friends are riding under the team name “Bar Mitzvah Boyz.” They’d love you to join them. Register at ridetofighthunger.com and do a mitzvah yourself.

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