Sara Klein Wagner
I admit it, I have always loved Super Sunday.
I love the energy, the hoopla, the happy warriors who show up each year to make calls – and a difference.
This year, we will continue to make a difference. Super Sunday will be different from any other; our volunteers are showing up virtually, while we will not gather face to face, volunteers are still showing up in every sense of the word.
My first Super Sunday in 1990, as a new Federation staff member was very special. The phone-a-thon was held at the Kentucky Center to support Operation Exodus, the national campaign to support newly freed Jews from the Soviet Union. As community volunteers gathered downtown to make calls, the need was clear.
Operation Exodus provided a lifeline for individuals and families in their most stressful and vulnerable moments. Communities across the globe, from Louisville to Tel Aviv, stepped forward to transform more than 1 million lives.
My affinity for phone-a-thons only expanded as I worked with our Federation’s annual Super Sunday committees over the years.
Before cell phones, preparing for the big day was always fun, yet exhausting. We purchased extra phone lines and taped down dozens of extension cords.
But the hoopla of a fun theme, with tote boards made on the kitchen floor of a volunteer’s home and always having too many volunteers to work the first shift, added to the excitement.
I am not the only one who enjoyed it all. The happy warriors, who returned every year for Ruthie’s tuna fish and the sense of community, played an important role in improving lives.
Technology has changed everything. The recent Lion of Judah International conference, which brought more than 4,700 attendees together, showed that virtual gatherings are a powerful way to connect thousands of women in a personal way.
Thankfully, we have the technology for Super Sunday on Jan. 31. Our volunteers will call you remotely, but they will still connect one-on-one with the shared purpose of helping the most vulnerable in our Jewish community.
As the COVID pandemic continues to spread, Super Sunday is more important than ever. The 2021 Annual Campaign, with its “Here for Good” theme, needs our collective support.
More and more, we are hearing from local families and individuals who feel stressed and uncertain as the pandemic alters their lives. Seniors and young adults alike are facing job loss, food insecurity and isolation. They are counting on the Federation for relief. As it was with Operation Exodus, the need is clear.
Our tradition teaches that giving from the heart is a mitzvah. It is extra special to assume the responsibility of asking others to give. On Jan. 31, your gift will provide for the needs of our Jewish community during these most uncertain times. When we dial your number this year, please answer the call.
(Sara Klein Wagner is the president & CEO of the Jewish Community of Louisville.)
Want to help?
To volunteer for Super Sunday 2021, the annual phone-a-thon to support the Jewish Federation of Louisville’s Annual Campaign, on Sunday, Jan. 31, email federation@Jewishlouisville.org. Live caller training will begin at 9:30 a.m.; the phone-a-thon, 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded throughout day.