This is an important week in which we celebrate, commemorate, and reflect on how events from the past impact us today, as well as for generations to come. In last week's post, we considered how Passover affects our lives as Engage volunteers. Here's a beautiful example of how our commitment has meaning for those we help.
On the warm afternoon of April 1st, Engage volunteers supported Selfhelp Community Services by volunteering at a seder for Holocaust survivors at the JCC. In case you're not familiar with Selfhelp, the organization was founded in 1936 to help waves of emigres fleeing from Nazi persecution find new lives in America. Selfhelp develops and implements highly impactful programs and services that meet the evolving needs of multiple generations and the elder care needs of a changing society. They have the largest Nazi victim services program in North America, providing comprehensive services to over 5,600 victims of Nazi persecution.
This special celebration drew a big crowd of guests and volunteers. Approximately 60 guests attended and 20 volunteers provided support and company to help ensure a good time was had by all. The seder was beautifully led by Emily Levy from Selfhelp and both guests and Engage volunteers read passages from the Haggadah using a handheld microphone. A delicious buffet meal was served and guests were able to reconnect with old friends and forge new friendships.
The history and meaning of Passover is really driven home when you consider how this extraordinary community we serve overcame unfathomable events and embarked on an arduous journey in more ways than one. They are now able to enjoy their freedom and embrace rituals held dear, such as reading proudly from a Haggadah.
You can join us at the next Engage Selfhelp event—a coffee house including lunch, dancing, and conversation—on Thursday, April 30. Click here for more information and to register.