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Thousands of Superheroes United for a Super Weekend

What made Federation’s Super Weekend so super?  The thousands of Jewish community superheroes who came together for 1,000 Shabbat Celebrations on February 19th, or made or generously answered calls on Super Sunday, February 21st.

1,000 Shabbat Celebrations was celebrated across greater Los Angeles at hundreds of hosted Shabbat dinners, both intimate and large. Tables were dressed and loaves were covered with our brightly designed Super Weekend challah cover, as, together, family and friends took part in the weekly tradition of rest and reflection. Temple Beth Am hosted a community dinner, as did the Westside Jewish Community Center, and the temple at Beit T’Shuvah. Vista del Mar also hosted a special inclusive morning service and community brunch on Saturday for both 1,000 Shabbat Celebrations and to honor Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. We even received a photo from a Shabbat celebration in Israel!

As for private home Shabbat dinners, some had casual potlucks and played games with the superhero trading cards from our free Shabbat boxes. Others catered fancy traditional affairs for their guests. But there was one common thread — each celebration honored our shared Jewish values on a single night, and we consider that a resounding success!

At Super Sunday, our Federation’s annual fundraiser to support the life-changing work we accomplish in L.A., Israel and more than 70 countries, approximately 400 volunteers made calls at phone sessions in the City and the Valley!

In the City location, Mitch Hamerman, Federation’s Senior VP of Campaign Management & Communications, said, “We had to bring in extra tables and chairs to accommodate all of the volunteers.” He explained that there was so much enthusiasm and buzz surrounding the day that many additional volunteers showed up last minute to give back. “This was unprecedented,” he said. “There were times when it was standing room only.”

“From the Conejo to Burbank, we couldn’t have had a more energetic group of volunteers this year,” said Lori Tessel, Chief Development Officer of the Valley Alliance. “We fostered our community and raised money that will touch so many lives. It was such a rewarding experience!”

The Jewish Federation has already touched so many lives in so many ways — that much was evident from the diverse group of volunteers making calls. Representatives from our Federation’s Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy, Real Estate and Construction Division, Legal Division and Entertainment Division were in attendance. There were also callers from our Federation’s Community Leadership Institute, YALA (Young Adults of Los Angeles), Kahn and BRIdge Fellows, Moishe House and even 20 teens from our Diller Teen Fellows program.

In the Valley, volunteers were treated to a kosher Israeli food truck and chocolate-dipped bananas as they dialed and persevered in obtaining gifts and increases for our Federation. Young adults even enjoyed a special Superhero Happy Hour, which brought YALA callers dressed as their favorite superheroes.

In addition to community members and Federation staff, several elected officials stopped by both locations to do their part and make calls supporting our Federation, including Los Angeles City Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz and David Ryu; California State Senators Ben Allen and Bob Huff; Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin; Los Angeles Community College Board President Scott Svonkin; Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang; California State Assemblymembers Richard Bloom and Matt Dababneh; and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

With both our City and Valley locations hard at work, together we raised $1,320,974 for our Federation’s 2016 Annual Campaign in just one day! And it’s all thanks to superheroes like Ramin “Ray” Ravi, who has participated in Super Sunday for 27 years. “From 10 o’clock to 10:40, I raised about $10,000,” he said proudly. “I’m a professional at this. It’s my honor, it’s my duty and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Thanks to everyone who hosted a Shabbat dinner, made or answered calls on Super Sunday, or made gifts online to support our Federation’s work caring for Jews in need, engaging with the community and ensuring the Jewish future. It was truly a super weekend!

Did we miss you on Super Sunday? There’s still time to make your online gift now.

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