On Sunday, March 29th, our Federation held our second Community Service Day of this year, where a total of 150 volunteers participated in five diverse projects, making an impact on our community at various sites throughout Los Angeles.
Out in the Valley, 50 volunteers—including 15 children—enjoyed the fresh air at our Food Forward Pick in Woodland Hills. This project was truly a family-friendly outing! Everyone pitched in and picked about 1,600 pounds of oranges in two hours. That afternoon, Food Forward dropped the harvest off at SOVA’s Valley location, where they will be distributed to families in need.
In Hollywood, we had 17 volunteers join us to serve breakfast and participate in arts and crafts at the Ronald McDonald House. Ronald McDonald House provides free and low-cost housing to families who have traveled far from home to get treatment at local hospitals for their children who are suffering from serious illnesses. The families were very appreciative of the hot breakfast that we provided, and that they had no dishes left to clean before they returned to the hospital. And the siblings of the children being treated at the hospital were overjoyed to get the undivided attention of our volunteers while making crafts.
Over in West L.A., we had our annual Senior Prom at the Westside JCC, and this year was by far the largest one we have ever hosted. One hundred sixty seniors and 35 volunteers spent the afternoon together enjoying live music, dancing, toasting with their sparkling cider and creating wonderful memories.
Near the Grove, our Federation partnered with L’Dough V’Dough at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. There we gathered our 33 volunteers and survivors to braid and bake challah and converse about Holocaust survivors’ personal stories. After the event, we had two guided tours of the museum—one led by a museum docent and the other by a survivor. This was a very timely project as Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is coming up on April 16th.
Just steps from the ocean, we partnered with the Israel Levin Center on the Venice Boardwalk, where 15 community members volunteered for their ‘Schwartz Family’ annual Intergenerational Passover Seder. Our volunteers set up, served, ate, sang and danced with the guests at the seder. Among the 80 seniors who attended this seder was a couple married for 72 years—the wife was 98 years old and her husband was 101. It doesn’t get any more intergenerational than that!
Please mark your calendar and join us for our next and largest Community Service Project, our annual Gear Up for Camp Day on May 31st! Together we’ll kick off the summer and outfit over 1,000 underserved campers—many of whom are at-risk youth—with the items they need for a five-day session at Camp Max Straus, the resident camp of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles.
If you have any questions about our Federation’s Community Service Days, or you’d like to get more involved, please contact Alana Schwartz at ASchwartz@JewishLA.org.