There may not be any in-person socializing, but the organizers of this year’s Super Sunday expect the signature event to be as rewarding as its predecessors.
In 2020, 600 volunteers at five locations across the region made calls, wrote letters, sent texts and posted to social media to friends, neighbors and their local kehillot, exceeding the $500,000 goal for Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s largest annual community fundraiser.
Volunteers spoke positively about the camaraderie and sense of community fostered by the event. But call centers are out of the question this year, so Super Sunday will be spread three ways on March 6 and 7.
“This reimagined event is what our community needs to come together,” said Danielle Weiss, a Super Sunday co-chair, who is teaming with Mitch Sterling.
The weekend kicks off from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on March 6 with a virtual Havdalah featuring Joey Weisenberg of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute.
After that, participants are urged to stay online and participate in one of 36 “Schmooze & Share Rooms” hosted by leaders of area synagogues, day schools, camps and nonprofits. Participants will be able to move from room to room.
“The team has done an amazing job of finding ways to engage the community,” Jewish Federation Executive Vice President Melissa Greenberg said.
Super Sunday itself will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with several dozen campaign members, Jewish Federation employees and a hired professional marketing company making donation calls, Greenberg said. The professional marketers are expected to make 6,000 calls. The goal is again $500,000.
Would-be donors may donate online at jewishphilly.org/donate-super-sunday or call 215-832-0899.
Also on Super Sunday, there’s an opportunity to “Do a Mitzvah.” Participants may drop off a bag of food curbside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at one of the five area Mitzvah Food Pantries or Shir Ami Congregation in Newtown.
Requested items include Passover foods such as gefilte fish, grape juice, horseradish, matzah meal, matzah and kosher for Passover cereals, crackers and snacks, as well as diapers and women’s feminine hygiene products.
“No matter who is participating, they can probably find something that speaks to them,” Weiss said of Super Sunday participation.
Neither Greenberg nor Weiss is concerned about donor fatigue, despite other Jewish Federation-led charitable drives seeking to assist those struggling because of the pandemic.
“We understand that a lot is being asked of people philanthropically,” Weiss said. “As far as I know, the community has truly stepped up and rallied around each other. … We really have been so moved by the generosity of the community.”
“I am continually inspired by the generosity of the members of our community,” Greenberg said, adding that the new format “presents an opportunity to be creative.” Jewish Federation will keep offering virtual options even after the pandemic ends, as they break down barriers and allow people in Florida, the Jersey shore and the Poconos, among other places, to participate.
“There are lots of different ways for people to connect, and we’ve really learned that this year,” Greenberg said.
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