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clothingdriveWestchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) is issuing a "clothes call" to launch its newest program - Pass It On Kid's Kloset - that will provide new and gently-used children's clothes and essentials to Westchester families in need.

Nearly 12% of children in Westchester, ages 0-18 live in poverty. All Kid's Kloset items will be given free to families living at or below the poverty line and each request will be filled with a personally packed bag made especially for a designated child.

In order to fill the shelves, Kid’s Kloset seeks gently-used and new children's clothing and shoes, select baby supplies and new children's socks, underwear, pajamas, baby bottles and sippy cups.

Donations can be dropped off during business hours at WJCS Headquarters at 845 North Broadway in White Plains, or they also can be brought directly to Kid's Kloset by contacting Stephanie Roth, Volunteer Director, at kidskloset@wjcs.com, or call 914-761-0600 X 715.

Kids Kloset is also seeking collaboration with local houses of worship, community groups and businesses to run clothing collection drives. Kid's Kloset volunteers will help coordinate the drives and your assistance in securing entrée to such groups will be greatly appreciated. If you have contacts with groups who can help, get in touch with Stephanie Roth. Also share the news about the program with family, friends, neighbors and business colleagues.

In addition, financial contributions will allow Kid's Kloset to provide items that are not donated. To make an online contribution, please go to: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/WestchesterCommunityServ/OnlineDonation.html. Checks made payable to WJCS Kid's Kloset can be sent to WJCS, 845 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603.

 

UJAFedScarsdaleplattusMore than 100 guests gathered on Thursday, June 16, 2011, to celebrate UJA-Federation of New York’s Scarsdale community, its contributions to the organization’s 2011 Annual Campaign, and the vital work of UJA-Federation.

UJA-Federation raises funds that sustain the activities of more than 100 health, human-service, educational, and community-building agencies. These community-based organizations provide services that combat poverty, help the elderly age with dignity, promote Jewish identity and renewal, strengthen children and families, and open doors to those with disabilities and special needs.

During the Scarsdale Couples Event, the successful completion of a special initiative by UJA-Federation’s Scarsdale Women’s Philanthropy also was announced. This effort raised funds for Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) Senior Program

The WJCS Senior Program, which offers 250 older adults a critical lifeline that connects them to others and to their community, was facing a major financial crisis. Scarsdale Women’s Philanthropy committed to raising $50,000 to close its budget shortfall. Once that goal was reached, an anonymous donor committed to contributing an additional $25,000.

“We’re a strong community, committed to making a difference where we can,” said Scarsdale Divisional Chair Caryl Orlando. “We

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Caryl Orlando, Robin Silk, Pam Frankel-Stein, Rochelle Waldman, Loryn Kass, and Stephanie Hurwitz
saw how critical this program is to the seniors who see it as a reason to get up in the morning, and we knew we could help ensure its vitality for another year. We dedicated ourselves to this effort, and we succeeded.”

Tizmoret, Queens College Hillel’s a cappella group, performed at the event. UJA-Federation funds 12 local Hillels through Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, including the Hillel at Queens College.

Trisanne Berger, Pam Frankel-Stein, Robin Gottlieb, Stephanie Hurwitz, and Stephanie Tessler serve as Scarsdale area chairs.

About UJA-Federation of New York

UJA-Federation of New York, the world’s largest community-based philanthropy, raises funds that sustain the activities of more than 100 health, human-service, educational, and community-building agencies. Every day, these community-based organizations provide a multitude of services that combat poverty, help the elderly age with dignity, promote Jewish identity and renewal, strengthen children and families, and open doors to those with disabilities and special needs. With a reach that spans New York, Israel, and 60 countries around the globe, we touch the lives of 4.5 million people every year, fulfilling a mission to care for people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities. For more information, please visit www.ujafedny.org.

Pictured at Top: Susan Goldenberg, Nina Ross, and Linda Plattus

Photos supplied by UJA-Federation of New York

 

 

grayston1Greyston Foundation is pleased to announce that over $300,000 was raised at the Greyston Annual Benefit held at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson. B-Lab Co-Founder, Andrew Kassoy, and Greyston Board Member and Bakery Volunteer, Ruth Suzman, were honored at the event for their exceptional service and dedication.

“It was a spectacular evening,” said Edward Falkenberg, Chair of the Board of Directors. “This was our biggest turnout in years with over 300 people in attendance. We are extremely grateful to the community for their ongoing support for the Foundation.”

A highlight of the evening was the dedication of the Greyston Bakery’s PathMaking Center to Ruth Suzman. In honor of her long-standing and valued commitment to Greyston, the new Greyston PathMaking Center will be renamed, “Ruth Suzman PathMaking Center” and will feature a library, meeting rooms and computer work stations. The PathMaking Center will be a safe, confidential and high-tech environment for individuals who turn to Greyston for personal assistance.

Co-Chairs of the 2011 Greyston Annual Benefit include Carolyn Bess (Manhattan), Cheryl Dorsey (Manhattan), Patricia and Edward

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Michelle Friedman and Gregg Lerner
Falkenberg (Scarsdale), Sara Horowitz (Brooklyn), Caryl and John Orlando (Scarsdale) and Suzanne and Andrew Yearley (Scarsdale). The Honorary Chair was United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

All funds raised at the event will support Greyston Foundation’s community development efforts, which it utilizes as a means of achieving personal and community transformation. Well-known for its Bakery, Greyston also provides jobs, affordable housing for disadvantaged individuals, medical and holistic care to adults living with HIV, high-quality child care, and teaches adolescents valuable life skills, engages public school children in hands-on environment education and supplies employment and training to the formerly homeless and previously incarcerated.

For more information about Greyston Foundation, please contact Jonathan Greengrass at 914-376-3900 ext. 295, visit www.greyston.org or email jonathang@greyston.org .

Pictured at top: Andrew Kassoy, Ruth Suzman and Steven Brown: Photos by Michael Priest

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Marc Greenwald and Darren Friedman
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Edward Falkenberg and Patrick James

 

 

dannymaxbernsteinHere is the story of an ambitious effort being undertaken by a group of Scarsdale residents to raise $200,000 to save Amazing Afternoons, an after-school program in Mt. Vernon that is run by Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS).

Due to state budget cuts that take effect next September, the 125 children enrolled in Amazing Afternoons at Mt. Vernon’s Edward Williams Elementary School won’t have a place to go for homework help, recreation and mentoring. Lack of funding for Amazing Afternoons, which is administered by Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS), threatens to discontinue free after-school enrichment and academic support for the Mt. Vernon students, many who will go unsupervised in the afternoons. Nearly 90% of the children at the school qualify for free or reduced price lunch; most come from single-parent homes; and many live in homeless shelters. The demise of the program will also leave working families without affordable childcare in the after-school period.

That’s where their neighbors in Scarsdale come enter the picture -- The Edward Williams Fundraising Group -- many of whom are long-time volunteers at Amazing Afternoons, have set a goal to raise $200,000 so that the young program participants will continue to have “amazing afternoons” and their parents will have peace of mind knowing they are in a safe, nurturing environment.

Spearheaded by Scarsdale residents Danny Bernstein, Judy and Len Corlin, Rita Friedman, Helene Getz and Stan Josephson, as well as students Ali Schnitzer and Graham Winston of the Edward Williams Club at Scarsdale High School, the group is soliciting donations to keep Amazing Afternoons viable for the 2011-2012 school year. Many of these volunteers are congregants of Westchester Reform Temple (WRT), which adopted Amazing Afternoons years ago, providing a corps of adult and teen volunteers who offer a range of enrichment opportunities including ballet, chess, basketball, chorus, poetry and much more. A special bond developed between the WRT volunteers and the Edward Williams students – each group sharing experiences, learning valuable life lessons from the other and growing from their participation in the program.

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Program Director Figueroa and Mt. Vernon Councilman Yuhanna Edwards
This is not the first time that the Scarsdale community has come together to help Amazing Afternoons. For the past four years, the temple volunteers and music conductor Justin Bischoff of St. James the Less Church, also in Scarsdale, have teamed up with congregation members to raise funds to send many of the Amazing Afternoons youngsters to summer camp. The concerts have raised nearly $250,000, to support day camp scholarships for some 200 children served by WJCS programs. These efforts underscore the tremendous value of neighbors helping neighbors and the benefit that everyone derives from kindness and generosity in times of need.

To learn more, contact Janet Younkin of Westchester Jewish Community Services at 914-761-0600 x 204 or jyounkin@wjcs.com.

Pictured at top: Scarsdale resident Danny Bernstein and his son Max, at the recent fundraising kickoff.

 

KilloranSenior Options is a time for Scarsdale High School seniors to get out of the classroom and experience something new… and that’s just what six Scarsdale seniors did when they ventured into the world of volunteering and joined the Habitat for Humanity of Westchester team. Over the course of their five-week internship at Habitat, the group of seniors; Katie Wheeler, Alex Kowalczuk, Alex Wess, Jason Samwick, Constantinos Vissas, and Paolo Torres— dubbed “the CSI team” (Community Scarsdale Internship)—discovered the responsibilities, challenges, and rewards that accompany volunteering.

“The CSI team is great,” stated Jim Killoran, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Westchester. “I call them that because they come in at a time that is busy, and we have a long relationship with Scarsdale High School with a strong Habitat club there as well as seniors like these who come and end their four years at Scarsdale in service with Habitat. No better way to culminate four years of Scarsdale education than with service with Habitat.”

The seniors were each assigned their own job in working at Habitat. Wess, Samwick, and Vissas were in charge of deliveries and pick-ups for Habitat’s ReStore, which sells used and surplus household items at a small fraction of retail prices. After coordinating with donators and clients, the trio created a fully functional schedule and executed many of the deliveries and pick-ups themselves. Kowalczuk and Torres were the leaders of Habitat’s green initiative, which strives not only to make Habitat’s office and homes more environmentally friendly, but also to implement environmentally friendly practices in the community at large. The two worked to acquire and locally intersperse composters, recycling bins, and bike racks. And because of their work, Habitat is on its way to building a wind turbine and roof garden for its main office. Wheeler was head of social media and was able to update Habitat’s website and various Facebook pages, which include “Habitat for Veterans, Veterans for Habitat,” “Bike Mount Vernon,” and “Bike Yonkers.” She created flyers explaining Habitat’s initiative to help and involve veterans and the Habitat-hosted biking expedition in celebration of Earth Day.

While the seniors each had their own individual responsibilities, they most enjoyed the ability to work together. Their favorite day was MasterCard Day, an event for which over 100 MasterCard employees came out to help clean up and beautify a Yonkers neighborhood. Wheeler teamed up with Riverside High School students to design a mural for the face of an abandoned building on Ashburton Avenue. The mural, which read, “Go green, go clean with Habitat,” emphasized Habitat’s mission to create environmentally friendly housing and practices throughout Westchester County. The seniors were truly amazed at what they had accomplished in a single day—vacant lots had been converted into community gardens, trash was picked up, walkways were cleared, and progress on Habitat’s house on Orchard Street was furthered. “We really had fun together and got a lot accomplished,” reflected Kowalczuk. “This is God’s work!” cheered Wess, Samwick, and Vissas in unison.

Habitat for Humanity of Westchester engages more than 40 high schools and all the colleges in the county to help students realize that giving is part of success. All summer long it offers a Builders Camp in which students can learn to build. For more information visit www.habitatwc.org, call 914-636-8335, or see Habitat for Humanity of Westchester’s Facebook page.

Contributed by Scarsdale High School senior Katie Wheeler

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