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Thursday, September 21, 2017

If Purim seems like a frenzied day of zig-zagging back and forth between friends and family and neighbors, many local (and not local) organizations take the stress out of the day by offering cards that can be sent in advance of Purim. The cards are appreciated across the board. The sender feels positive helping out worthy organizations without feeling crunched on the actual day of Purim, while the recipient enjoys being thought of and a part of a giving relationship.

For those looking to join the masses who take advantage of the many wonderful opportunities in the community and beyond, please remember to pay attention to deadlines. In the case where an organization offers to send actual mishloach manot, it is advised to order as early as possible as some may sell out of their supply long before the deadline.

Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization that helps support Jewish women and families facing breast and ovarian cancer nationwide. They offer peer-to-peer counseling, genetics conversations and a variety of educational symposia. Cards are available for purchase at Sharsheret’s Teaneck office (1086 Teaneck Road, Suite 2G) at The Judaica House in Teaneck and at Grand & Essex Market in Bergenfield, $36 for 12. Tuesday March 7 is the deadline for those who would like their cards mailed to them. Cards are available for pickup from the Sharsheret office through March 10.

Project Ezrah helps members of the community find employment at all levels, and offers training and advisement as well as financial assistance and education in financial stability. Delicious mishloach manot are available for $8 and, if requested, are delivered by volunteers to specific addresses. But hurry—for those requesting delivery, orders have to be in by February 23 at 4 p.m. For those who missed the deadline, Purim packs are still available for pick-up and are five packs for $39, 10 for $77 and 20 for $150.

SINAI Schools operates schools and adult programs for individuals with a wide range of learning and developmental disabilities as well as other special needs. Cards cost $1 each, and can be ordered directly from the SINAI, https://www.sinaischools.org/purim,
or picked up from any of their partner schools: Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, Ma’ayanot, TABC, Joseph Kushner High School and Heichal HaTorah. Additionally, the cards are available for purchase in local stores including Ma’adan, Best Glatt and the Holy Name Medical Center gift shop.

Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County was formed in 1990 and has since provided close to one million meals to families in need. They currently provide food to over 600 individuals in Bergen County. Tomchei Shabbos cards are sold in packs of 10 for $18. They are available at the Warehouse, 13 Foster Street in Bergenfield, from 3 to 7, as well as throughout the area at Best Glatt, Cedar Market, Chopstix, Food Showcase (Fair Lawn), Garden State Jewelers, Glatt Express, Grand and Essex, Judaica House, Maadan, Menagerie (Englewood), Noah’s Ark/Shelley’s and Poppy’s. Local residents may order online by e-mailing [email protected] This year the Purple Bow on Queen Anne Road will donate 10 percent of mishloach manot purchases when customers mention Tomchei Shabbos. For more information or additional cards, contact Keren Nussbaum at 973-747-2731.

Chai Lifeline finds ways to bring joy to the lives of young patients and their families through creative, innovative and effective family-centered programs, activities and services. They have three different ways to spread Purim joy. Chai Lifeline cards are available for $20 per 10-card set, with free shipping when ordering two sets or more. Chai Lifeline offers to take care of the mailing too, and for $3 a card they will mail it out themselves when provided with the address. They also offer the option of a free e-card. With a variety of card options, these are a cheery addition to Purim mail. http://www.chailifeline.org/events/card/purim/

AMIT enables Israel’s youth to realize their potential and strengthens Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse backgrounds within a framework of academic excellence, Jewish values and Zionist ideals. AMIT cards are available for $3 each or $25 for 10. https://amitchildren.org/

Project Yechi helps those who have been confronted with cancer by making their lives easier and offering support during very trying times. Though they already sold out of their mishloach manot packs, cards are still available with any donation to Project Yechi. For instructions, visit their website: http://projectyechi.org/services/donation-cards/purim-cards/.

Yad Eliezer is Israel’s largest poverty-relief organization. With minimal overhead, over 96 percent of funds go directly to helping families. They provide job training, help for babies and young children and aim to create financial independence for the families they assist. Cards are available in English or Hebrew, for $3 each or 10 NIS, and can be shipped to the United States or Israel. Visit www.yadeliezer.org.

Yachad is a thriving global organization dedicated to addressing the needs of all Jewish individuals with disabilities and ensuring their inclusion in every aspect of Jewish life. They offer mishloach manot packages at every price point available. Yachad also sells Purim cards at $30 for five, and for an extra $2 a card they will address them and mail them out. https://www.yachad.org/purim/

Jewish Family and Children’s Services. JFCS provides services that include information and referral, clinical services, employment services, senior care, afterschool programs, aid and advocacy and emergency financial assistance. Cards can be purchased by calling the office at 201-837-9090 or by emailing [email protected] with a list of names and addresses. They are $10 a card and JFCS will mail them out directly.

Contributing to any of these organization allows Purim to transcend the personal aspect and truly become a community endeavor with warmth and togetherness.

By Jenny Gans