Jewish Journal

Super Sunday Sets Sights on $5 Million

by Michael Aushenker

Posted on Feb. 17, 2000 at 7:00 pm

The date is Feb. 27, the event is Super Sunday, and the goal is to surpass last year's $4.75 million in contributions for the United Jewish Fund, the fundraising arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, to benefit Federation-related charities and agencies.

The largest annual Jewish fundraising event in Los Angeles, this person-to-person phone-a-thon puts volunteers in touch with the community on a one-to-one level. Meanwhile, a specially-designated "Mitzvah-thon" area will let children work on projects for needy children and adults.

Roughly 10 percent of the Federation's yearly campaign is raised in the course of Super Sunday. The monies go to assisting Jews in Los Angeles and overseas, and addressing such issues as poverty, abuse, addiction, health problems, unemployment, family issues and even fallout from terrorist acts. Community centers, children, senior citizens and immigrants will all benefit from the money raised this year. But the scope of work done here goes even beyond that, insists Super Sunday Chair Glenn Gottlieb.

"This is not just about helping Jewish people. This is not about advancing a religion or ethnic group. The work that we do benefits Jews and non-Jews," says Gottlieb, referring to the non-sectarian outreach accomplished by Vista Del Mar, Aviva Center and Bet Tzedek Legal Services.

So what's different about this year's Super Sunday event? According to this year's vice chairs -- husband and wife team Craig Miller and Jackie Shelton -- fine tuning will include the new option for volunteers to work two 90-minute blocks on the phones, in addition to the standard three or four hour shifts. Gottlieb points out that new volunteer scripts will concentrate on finding new contributors -- in addition to revisiting old ones -- and a Corporate Pacesetters category has been created for company donors, with a division of donations into tiers based on set financial goals -- gold ($10,000 and above), silver ($5,000) and bronze ($2,500).

More than 5,000 Angelenos are expected to participate, including Mayor Richard Riordan.

But perhaps the most substantial addition to the fundraising juggernaut is the creation of this year's Super Sunday Web site, which offers on-line volunteer registration.

Super Sunday all began in 1976, the brainchild of Elton Kerneff, campaign director for the Washington D.C.-area Jewish Federation. It's been a tzedakah tradition ever since.

"It's the one place where you will find Jews of every kind -- Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, etc. -- all in the same place and working for a common cause," says Jodi Berman, 2000's event director.

For more information on volunteering for Super Sunday on Feb. 27, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., contact your local Jewish Federation offices: The Jewish Federation, (323) 761-8000; Valley Alliance, (818) 464-3200; Metropolitan and Western Regions, (310) 689-3600; and South Bay Council, (310) 540-2631. To access the Super Sunday Web site, go to www.jewishla.org.

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