The demand for Shofars (grammatically: Shofarot)
at the Jewish Renaissance Fair, precipitated local
Hebrew Schools' request of the JDC to provide them
with a Shofar making experience before Rosh Hashanah.
Hundreds of Children will see the art of Shofar
making, and for a nominal charge, will be able to
take their own Shofar - yes, a real Ram's horn!
TASHLICH SERVICE AT ROYALWOODS
For the past few years a local tradition was created.
A resident of the Royalwoods community in Williamsville
hosted dozens of families in the area for a Rosh
Hashanah afternoon get together. Rabbis Labkovski
and Greenberg and his sons have made the almost
three mile trek to bring the spiritual dimension
of Rosh Hashanah to the crowd. The Shofar was sounded
(for those who might have missed a note or two)
and a meaningful Tashlich service followed.
SHOFAR SOUNDING FOR HOMEBOUND AND
HOSPITAL PATIENTS The JDC staff and volunteers visit
the hospitals on Rosh Hashanah and sound the Shofar
for those who cannot come to Shul.
ROSH HASHANAH SERVICES AND MEALS
As with every Shabbat, the JDC combines its services
with meals to which everyone is welcome to attend,
free of charge. There are no membership dues or
tickets to purchase to be able to pour out your
hearts to G-d in prayer on the high holy days.
YOM KIPPUR SERVICES AND BREAK THE
FAST MEAL Yom Kippur is no exception, people flock
to the JDC - without advertising - to participate
in a most meaningful service followed by a break
the fast meal for all.
SUKKOT SERVICES AND HOLIDAY MEALS
IN SUKKAH Every day of Sukkot we are enjoined to
eat in a Sukkah. At the JDC there are daily Sukkot
services followed by meals for all in the Sukkah.
SUKKAH MOBILE What's a Sukkah Mobile?
It's a Sukkah on wheels. For the last few years,
the JDC has sponsored a Sukkah on Wheels which has
visited prisons, hospitals, shopping malls, supermarkets,
private homes, local Jewish Schools and office buildings,
enabling hundreds of Jews to fulfill the mitzvah
of eating something in the Sukkah and making the
blessing on the "Four Species" (Lulav,
Etrog, myrtle, willow-symbolizing the unity of all
classes of Jews).
SUKKAH PARTIES The JDC sponsors
several Sukkot parties at different homes (Sukkot).
SIMCHAT BEIT HASHOEIVAH CELEBRATION
One of the highlights of Sukkot is the celebration
that took place in the temple in Jerusalem when
they would draw water for the special ritual. We
celebrate this day with a major party with music
and other forms of entertainment.
SIMCHAT TORAH BLAST The very climax
of Sukkot is Simchat torah when we all dance together
with the torah. This past year (1998) close to 200
people joined us at the JDC for true torah joy.
CHANUKAH DINNER The JDC has acquired
a reputation for throwing a good party. The JDC
has hosted Chanukah parties and dinners at the JCC
for the past three years. Many have remarked that
it is at the JDC party that one can find the broadest
cross section of the Jewish community. Representatives
of every congregation as well as some (as of yet)
"unaffiliated" Jews attend these festive
dinners, with music and fun for adults and children.
CHANUKAH MOBILES A Chanukah Mobile?!
Yes, the JDC has found a way to bring the light
of Chanukah throughout the Jewish community. Chanukah
Menorot mounted on several of the JDC staff and
friends cars, elicit only smiles and compliments
from hundreds of motorists they pass. It is one
more way of alerting everyone to the Festival of
Light and its importance. These Chanukah Mobiles
carry Chanukah kits which are distributed throughout
the community. But that's for the next item.
CHANUKAH MENORAH DISTRIBUTION The
JDC has been providing Chanukah Menorot and candles
to hundreds in the Buffalo community, particularly,
the new Americans, at public Chanukah functions
and in visitations to private homes.
CHANUKAH SUPPLIES TABLE AND MENORAH
AT TOPS AND JCC Both Tops International and the
JCC hosted a JDC "Chanukah Table" where
Chanukah supplies were featured, sizzling Latkes
were served and other Chanukah paraphernalia were
MENORAH AT THE MALL A giant Menorah
was erected in the center of Galleria Mall. A table
was set up manned by JDC volunteers and staff to
provide the shoppers with information about and
supplies for Chanukah. Thousands of people were
reminded of the Holiday and hundreds availed themselves
of the Chanukah supplies at the table.
MENORAH AT AMHERST TOWN HALL Publicizing
the miracle of Chanukah is an integral part of the
mitzvah of Chanukah. At the request of Town officials,
a Menorah was erected in Town Hall for the duration
of Chanukah that brought the message of religious
freedom to hundreds..
PURIM DINNER The JDC has a reputation
for throwing a great Purim party and dinner. Come
as you are or in disguise, the main point is to
experience boundless joy in a spirit of Jewish unity.
SHALLACH MONOT DISTRIBUTION Purim
is for feasting and frivolity. But, Purim is also
the time to show friendship and unity by sending
one another gifts of food known as Shallach Monot.
The JDC distributed hundreds of Shallach Monot bags
to Williamsville residents, reminding them of the
important Mitzvah and the need for more Jewish unity.
UPS - UNITED PURIM SERVICE The
JDC began a new service for those who would like
to send a beautiful Shallach Monot basket to friends
and relatives in the Buffalo metro area. All you
have to do is do choose between three sizes of baskets
and for a nominal fee we deliver the baskets on
Purim (weather permitting) to increase the joy and
friendship of Purim.
PASSOVER MATZAH BAKERY IN HEBREW
SCHOOLS This is one of the most successful examples
of the JDC's cooperative spirit. Over 1,500 children
and teachers were treated to a most enjoyable educational
experience. Every Hebrew School - as well as the
Park School and a Public Elementary School - was
provided with a Matzah baking demonstration, showing
the art of Baking Matzah the way it was done by
our ancestors in ancient times. For next year we
hope to bring this experience to many more public
and private schools.
SHEMURAH MATZAH DISTRIBUTION Not
all Matzah was created equal. There is machine baked
Matzah and there is hand baked Shemurah Matzah.
The JDC distributed hundreds of packets of Shemurah
Matzah to members of the Jewish community, to introduce
everyone to the beautiful custom of eating the hand
made, round and specially guarded Shemurah Matzah.
Among the recipients of the Shemurah Matzah were
the residents of the Weinberg Campus.
SALE OF CHAMETZ Passover is when
we eat Matzah and we also get rid of Chametz. Traditionally,
the owner of the Chametz would lock all of it in
a secure place and then go to the rabbi who would
act as his agent to sell it to a non-Jew so that
one would not be in possession of the Chametz for
Passover. the JDC provides this service. Just send
in the form distributed to the entire Jewish community
so that it comes to the JDC several days before
COMMUNAL SEDER The Seder is a time
for family. The JDC's notion of extended family
is anyone who does not have a seder to attend is
welcome at the JDC. Really feel the Egyptian bondage
and the exodus from Egypt as something of the present.
PASSOVER SERVICES AND MEALS "Whoever
is hungry, may he come and eat" is not only
said on the seder at the JDC, but is in effect for
every meal of every day of Passover. Together with
an opportunity to daven with other Jews to uplift
the spirit there is ample food for the body as well.
LAST DAY OF PASSOVER CELEBRATION
Passover is an eight day celebration. In Chassidic
circles we celebrate the very last day as we do
the first. The meal eaten at the end of the Festival
is called "Moshiach's Meal." The Ba'al
Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, whose
custom it was to eat this meal, intended it to be
our way of living not only with the past, but to
experience a taste of the future Redemption as well.
The JDC conducts a full meal with "Four Cups
of Wine." Everyone welcome!
LAG B'OMER PICNIC Lag B'omer is
not one of the most well publicized holidays. But,
that does not mean that it is not an important and
meaningful one. As most Holidays, Lag B'omer focuses
on the children. The JDC sponsors an annual picnic
with games and rides for the entire family.
SHAVUOT SERVICES AND ICE CREAM
AND PIZZA PARTY Shavuot is a holiday when we eat
dairy foods and we gather children together to help
them appreciate their pivotal role in the receiving
of the Torah. At the JDC we combine the two by having
a pizza and ice cream party for the children.
ROSH CHODESH GATHERINGS FOR WOMEN
Close to fifty women (an the number is growing)
gather once every month to celebrate Jewish womanhood
on Rosh Chodesh the traditional women's holiday
at different homes under the auspicious of the JDC.