What would a Jewish gathering be without wine, food, and good conversation? Clearly, none was lacking at the second annual Engage Volunteer Recognition Event. Over 60 volunteers who have participated in at least one event over the last year attended. Experienced Engage volunteers facilitated conversations at each table. The buzz was infectious as both newer and more veteran volunteers got to know each other better, mingled among those they already knew, and had a chance to learn what is on the horizon for Engage in the near future.

Rabbi Brian Fink introduced Rabbi Joy Levitt, executive director of JCC Manhattan, who gave the opening remarks. She commended Brian’s leadership and the volunteers for their work in growing the program to over 200 members in the last two years. She also noted the burgeoning number of opportunities for volunteers to give back to the community. Susan Kranberg, Engage community organizer, spoke about the growth of the program in Brooklyn over the past year.

This was followed by a montage documenting some of the outstanding Engage moments over the year. Engage members rocked to the music of the Beatles and other favorites courtesy of Paul Wolf, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist. Many sang along to their favorite tunes, and Paul obliged audience requests. It will be hard to top this event next year but I have every confidence that our creative volunteers will find a way to do so.

We have a few upcoming events in which you may want to participate as we kick off the summer season. This Friday evening, June 12th, will usher in the last Engage Shabbat Shabbang dinner, featuring a dairy supper and speaker from JDC. On Sunday, June 14th, we will have an opportunity to participate in a historical Brooklyn Tour. Finally, on Sunday, June 28th, Engage will host a Community Brunch at which you can learn more about upcoming Engage volunteer opportunities and meet team leaders and agency sponsors. It’s not too late to come on out and join the fun. You can register online at or by contacting Rabbi Brian Fink at or 646.505.4408.