Sue’s Acceptance speech
Thank you Michele for your introduction.
Thank you to the JFS Board for this honor. I am humbled when I think of those who preceded me, and the volunteering Jean Feldstein performed.
Why do we do the things we do to help? There are three ways we get started. The example of others, someone asks and our individual interests, talent, and skills.
My parents were examples.
Mom, Ruthie, and her twin sister Annie were dedicated to the Castiel chapter of Pioneer Women, Na’amamat. They both were working Board members. The board part included positions as President and Recording Secretary. The working part included a basement filled with donations for rummage sales, the dining room table was set to stuff mailings and phone calls were made.
When I was a Girl Scout, Mom was Cookie Chairman. Cookie sale time brought a huge truck down the driveway between the row houses where it delivered cases of cookies to the basement door. Orders were packed and girls picked them up. An upsetting year was when the cookies were made by a nonKosher bakery, no cookies that year as we were sponsored be our synagogue.
Dad loved hiking and belonged to a club in Philadelphia. I suspect Mom and Annie introduced him to BATONA , Back To Nature. The “girls” as family called them, did the layout for the quarterly calendar news. Later Dad became a hike leader. They did local hikes in and around the city as well as New Jersey, the Wharton Track and camping near the Delaware Water Gap. Dad went to the White Mountains and the AT with them for section hikes. I have a few calendars with their names included. BATONA is still operating.
Often someone asks us to do something to help.
My mother used to say, “Do you want to set the table?” It really was not a question. The table got set.
As an adult I have been asked to help and it really was a request. We all have a choice. Sometimes we say “yes” and sometimes decline. Everyone has different strengths. We agree when we have an interest, ability, skill, and time.
One day a Rabbi asked me to teach Sunday school. I do not know Hebrew was my reply. Do you know the Hebrew Alphabet? Don’t fib to a Rabbi, so “yes”. Good he said you can teach 2nd grade. That was his criteria, for me it was possession of an Elementary Teaching Certificate.
Friends also ask us to help. One special person asked me to take over the Sisterhood Leagram Fund Raiser. I said “yes” because it was organized on computer discs and a tutorial took place. What she neglected to tell me was I would be on the Sisterhood Board. Still am.
Sisterhood involved cooking for brunch programs, paid up Member Dinners, fund raisers and the Meal of Consolation. One friend is an idea person and I enjoyed creating menus and preparing with her. She made it fun.
So, this was out in the world. “Sue is willing to work in a kitchen.”
Beth El was providing some meals at Chrispus Attucks. This led to another Rabbi who attended Council of Churches meetings to ask me to organize preparation of a dinner the Tuesday before Christmas, at First Reformed Church on Orange Street in Lancaster City, for folks who needed a meal. So many people have helped. Old friends and new friends. I am lucky to know you all. Glad I asked for help.
Food Festival in our new building was started as a Sisterhood extension of Town Fair when we were on Lime street. Lots of jobs there!
As you can understand one thing leads to another. Many ways to help. Our children help others each in their own way.
Thanks to my husband, John, for rolling up his sleeves, helping in various kitchens and being supportive.
Mr. Rogers said he would see scary things in the news as a child. His mother told him to “Look for the helpers. You will always find people willing to help.”
I benefit from you, helpers all. Each in your own way.
Together we keep the boat afloat.
Phil, I turn to you.