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Congregation Shaarey Zedek Raises $4570 for JCFS and West Broadway Christmas Lunch Project

by Rhonda Spivak, January 1, 2022



Congregation Shaarey Zedek  recently raised  approximately $4570 to go towards the less fortunate in our community. The money was divided equally between the Jewish Child and Family Service and West Broadway Ministries. As Dr. Rena Secter Elbaze, Director of Education and Engagement at Shaarey Zedek says,  “For the West Broadway Christmas Lunch we purchased a special blanket for each person attending, and the food was provided for by our corporate donors. For Jewish Child and Family Service, the money went towards their food bank.”


Secter Elbaze noted that Congregation Shaarey Zedek has been involved in the West Broadway Ministries Christmas Lunch project for over 20 years. The project has meant that Congregation Shaarey Zedek has hosted a lunch for 100+ people at the West Broadway Church on Christmas day. This has involved coordinating food donations, gifts and the preparation and serving of food at the Lunch. Due to the cancellation of the Christmas 2020 luncheon because of restrictions imposed by the pandemic, a collection of food gift card donations was forwarded to West Broadway Ministries for distribution in 2020. This year, Congregation Shaarey Zedek was not  involved in serving the lunch since Christmas Day fell on Shabbat.

“Our goal was to raise $3000, but we exceeded our expectation, raising approximately  $4570 and  I want to thank all our donors for their generosity,” Secter Elbaze stated.

She added, “ I would like to thank our 38 volunteers for helping with the shopping, driving, gift wrapping and room set up in preparation of the lunch. I would like to thank the generous donors who contributed to the fundraiser that exceeded our expectations.

“I would like to thank our Tikun Olam committee one of whom, Glory Fleisher first started the lunch at West Broadway over 20 years ago.


”I would like to thank the Corporate donors who have contributed to the meal and gift wrapping supplies: Gunn’s Bakery, The Viscount Gort Hotel, Salisbury House, 529 Wellington Steakhouse, and Hudson’s Bay.”

Secter Elbaze points out that “The project highlights the Jewish tradition of contributing to the betterment of the communities in which we live and protecting those who are less fortunate among us. Society is uplifted when each and every soul is uplifted and given the opportunity to celebrate their holidays with dignity. We also support our own community in this initiative based on Hillel’s teaching:  

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me but if I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?

"Now is the time to act despite the restrictions and difficulties, with safety and everyone’s well being in mind,” she says.



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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