When Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County was in need of a new, extra-large freezer, co-director Sara Walzman began pricing out the cost with several appliance stores in the region. After calling Yudin’s Appliances and explaining what she needed, Walzman was informed that a freezer would be delivered to the warehouse within a few days at no cost for the item or the delivery. The cost of the appliance was $800.
Susan Yudin of Yudin’s Appliances was glad of the opportunity to step up. “We thank Tomchei Shabbos for allowing us to participate in this great mitzvah for such a worthy organization. Fortunately we are in a position to do so for many worthwhile organizations in Bergen County and beyond.”
For Walzman and co-director Sara Zilberstein, as well as the many volunteers who dedicate their time and effort weekly to Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County, this special and unique gesture is much appreciated. Additional unsolicited gifts have been received in multiple ways in recent weeks from community members.
For example, when Walzman mentioned in passing to Lindsay Setton, who organized the Englewood Challah Bake with Deborah Berger, that she was one of the directors of Tomchei Shabbos, they immediately made plans to set up a table at the event to benefit the organization and make sure the community was aware of its important work. Sandy Solomon and Leiah Moskowitz (who, with Deborah Berger and all their children, are frequent packers for Tomchei Shabbos) sat at the table before and after the event, promoting the organization, and Rebbetzin Chana Reichman mentioned the importance of Tomchei Shabbos in her remarks. After the event concluded, Tomchei Shabbos was presented with a check for $2,000, and an additional $1,000 in cash donations were made that evening as well.
Young chesed enthusiasts also have gotten into the spirit of helping out Tomchei Shabbos. In honor of becoming bat mitzvah, sixth-grade girls Miri Hochberg and Shana Markowitz organized and implemented a basketball clinic for third-grade girls on Erev Rosh Hashanah, Erev Yom Kippur and Erev Sukkot. They asked $5 from each participant and donated the $200 that they raised to Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County.
Unique and special ways that community members give to Tomchei Shabbos help the organization thrive. “Giving of time and money to Tomchei Shabbos is comparable to helping a next door neighbor in need. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this great mitzvah?” asked Walzman.
Walzman and Zilberstein noted that the funds provided to Tomchei Shabbos are stewarded with the utmost care, while they also work to provide nutritious and healthy items to the recipients. “We want our recipients to receive only the highest quality food products, those we would serve to our own families. That is why we engage in a long process of evaluating the food we purchase from our vendors,” said Walzman.
In addition to the organizational work done by Walzman and Zilberstein, 100 volunteers participate each week in the packing and distribution of the food boxes, which are distributed to Teaneck, Bergenfield, New Milford, Englewood, Leonia, Wyckoff, Ridgewood, Maywood, Cliffside Park, Fort Lee, Tenafly, Hackensack and Secaucus. Drivers are often sent out to three or four locations, with organization in place to consistently ensure the anonymity of all recipients.
Tomchei Shabbos recipients are recommended to the organization by local rabbis, social workers and agencies. Tomchei Shabbos has been serving the Bergen County community for over 27 years. Over 185 families, including over 200 children, are served weekly. To learn more about the services of Tomchei Shabbos and to donate to their organization visit tomcheishabbosofbergencounty.org or call 201-530-5096.
By Pearl Markovitz