Connect to...Painting Up a Storm

Neither a rainy Saturday morning, delays on the D train, nor skipping the closest subway stop to their destination could keep the men and women of Engage from their appointed task. It was New York Cares Day and the Engage team joined other groups from all over the city to participate in a variety of projects to spruce up JHS 117X in the Bronx. 

Among the projects were many opportunities to paint murals, staircases, signs, etc. So what project was the Engage team assigned? Painting two girls' bathrooms. If you have ever been in older public school buildings in Manhattan, you know that the ceilings are about 10 feet high and you need a wooden pole to reach up to open the windows. Given that the women in the group were about five feet tall, they got to paint the low-lying fruit, like radiator covers, while the men got to climb on ladders and toilet seats, using paint rollers to reach the ceilings.

Beyond accomplishing their assigned tasks and meeting their New York Cares fundraising goal, the Engage team was treated to a tour of the Grand Concourse by Men’s Group member Sheldon Taback, who grew up in the area. Fred Endelman and Marla Gamoran, an Engage first-timer, discovered that they grew up near each other in Chicago. A great time, with lots of laughter, was had by all. It was a true bonding experience.

The Men’s Group has participated in other New York Cares projects, which is just one of many interesting volunteer programs to which they have devoted their time and energy. Stay tuned for some new ways you can get involved with them as they expand their Tech Soup initiative to the New York Council of Jewish Women, create a Tech Soup website, and work on other other exciting initiatives.

Attend a Learn About Engage event or contact Rabbi Brian Fink at or 646.505.4408 to learn more about how you can get involved.