When you reach to answer your telephone this Sunday, Feb. 11, remember that your response has the power to change lives. There are Jews in need right here in Greater Philadelphia, in Israel and throughout the world who are depending upon your generosity and that of the Jewish community.
Super Sunday, which kicks off the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's 2007 community campaign, is just a few days away. Volunteers are still needed to work the phones to reach 30,000 households throughout Greater Philadelphia.
"Even if you haven't pre-registered, we encourage people to come out to any of the sites and join us in our effort to raise funds," said Mary Relles, phoning initiative co-chair for the second consecutive year.
"We are really excited about this year's Super Sunday," said Jeff Perlman, phoning initiative co-chair. "We are expecting a great turnout of supporters of every age to take part in this community event."
Event organizers are keeping their fingers crossed that Mother Nature will cooperate, but just in case of inclement weather, a snow date is set for Sunday, Feb. 18, with all the same shifts and locations. If there is any question about rescheduling, volunteers should call the Super Sunday hotline at 215-832-0630 to hear up-to-date information or log onto www. jewishphilly.org.
Perlman describes this year's event as reminiscent of "the good old days." "Our main site at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue is actually the same location where Super Sunday was held years ago. At that time, the facility was the Twelve Caesars.
"We are also offering two additional locations to make it easier and more convenient for people in the suburbs."
Perlman describes his co-chair, Mary Relles, as "phenomenal, a true asset to the leadership team." Both Perlman and Relles say they are fortunate to have such a dedicated, hardworking professional, Evey Klein, as the lead staff person for the Super Sunday initiative, a grand-scale event that encompasses extensive planning and organization.
According to Perlman, "When people from across the region gather together, the atmosphere is truly festive. You can feel the ruach throughout the room. And that's really what this day is all about. It's vital that we all take part."
"We are all part of our Jewish community," said Klein, Federation senior account executive, community development. "As diverse as the needs are in the Jewish community, it is up to every individual to take responsibility -- to make the call or answer the call."
Relles explains that before volunteers take to the phone lines to ask for a gift to the Jewish Community Fund, most will make their own gift. "We also provide motivational training for everyone before they make calls," said Relles. "This way, volunteers will be well-informed and educated about community needs and the vital services provided through Federation funding. And they will feel at ease when answering questions."
"People may not realize it, but funds raised on Super Sunday in some way affect everyone in the Jewish community," said Perlman. "Money raised during this campaign kick-off helps to fund synagogues, community programs, day schools, camp scholarships, an elderly population with increasing needs, impoverished Jews, those who are hungry or in need of shelter and so much more. Every gift is important; every gift counts. It is imperative that we all do our part."
"Last year, Federation allocated nearly $22 million to support an array of local services, Jewish education and initiatives in Israel and overseas," said Relles. "An additional $13 million was raised through Federation's Israel Emergency Fund to help rebuild areas of Israel devastated by the war."
Relles cannot emphasize enough that the generosity of each and every community member is something that Federation depends upon year after year: "We want to continue to provide services to all those in need and can only do so if we have adequate funding. Gifts of any size really do make a difference."
Said Perlman: "Just as our community is multifaceted with diverse needs, so too are people's interests and preferences in funding. It's really important for ev-eryone to come out and show support. We are hopeful that some will increase financial support, if they are able to do so. We can't just rely on a few; we have to rely on many."
Super Sunday volunteers can choose from multiple shifts at the three Super Sunday locations: Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue, 4200 City Line Ave., Philadelphia: shifts from 9 a.m. to noon, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Renaissance Group shift). At the NCO Group, 507 Prudential Road, Horsham, and Abrams Hebrew Academy, 31 W. College Avenue, Yardley, shifts are from 9 a.m. to noon, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 1 p.m.to 4 p.m.
Food and refreshments will be available for volunteers at all locations.
Platinum sponsors of Super Sunday are Blank Rome, Jewish Exponent, Klapholz's Kosher Delicatessen and NCO Group; gold sponsors are Dollar Financial Group, Inc., KPMG, Stonehenge Advisors Inc. and Young Adjustment Company, Inc.
For more information, call 215-832-0630 or visit www.jewishphilly.org/supersunday .