Super Sunday aims for gold

Volunteers make fundraising calls on Super Sunday, which kicks off the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's fundraising campaign.
Volunteers make fundraising calls on Super Sunday, which kicks off the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s fundraising campaign.

Feb. 23 may be the last day of competition at the Sochi Olympics, but the winning spirit will continue as the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington kicks off its 2014 fundraising campaign.

The theme for this year’s Super Sunday – the Federation’s annual phone-a-thon and the biggest day of fundraising of the year for the local Jewish community – is go for the gold.

Last year, the Federation raised $41.36 million, an increase from the year before, and a mark that the Federation looks to top when its annual campaign ends in December. For the day, hundreds of volunteers, including local and state elected officials, will gather at the three area Jewish Community Centers to support the 2014 campaign, which supports projects locally, in Israel and elsewhere overseas.

Past volunteers have included U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

Phone sessions will take place at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center from 1 to 4 p.m.; the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with an additional teen-only cell phone session from 1 to 3 p.m.

A main focus of Super Sunday is to raise the money that supports 34 local agencies, 19 national and international organizations, 11 area Hillels and more than 90 congregations and chavurot. Funds will also benefit local humanitarian and social service programs, including family counseling and kosher meals for seniors, leadership development programs at area college campuses and Jewish summer camp experiences for those with special needs.

Super Sunday’s leadership team this year includes area chairs Robin and Matthew Weinberg in Maryland, Rochelle and David Goldberg in Virginia and Emily Benovitz and Eric Wachter in Washington.

Wachter has helped generate excitement about Super Sunday and will help make sure everyone’s energy is high during the event and that everyone is having a good time helping the community.

“Super Sunday is particularly important because, sure, it’s about raising the dollars that help support programming and needs over the region,” Wachter says.

“Beyond that, it’s really about bringing the community together and showing off what a vibrant, dynamic group we have [in] the greater Washington area.”

The Federation also expects the day to inspire people to recognize the importance and value of volunteering, building community and tikkun olam.

“It’s about participation,” says Avital Ingber, the Federation’s chief development officer. “We believe every donor matters. The theme for this year is go for the gold, and we’re going for a gold for our Jewish community.”

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