SUPER BOWL XL
Shaarey Zedek's game-day
event aids the homeless.
S helli Liebman Dorfman
improve their live's.
"There were people who wanted
to get back to work but couldn't
ive piano music, movies
call for jobs, so we went out and
on a giant screen TV,
bought them cell phones and pre-
inflatable moonwalks and • paid phone cards," said Rabbi
a magic show certainly evoked the Joseph Krakoff, who worked with
atmosphere of "by invitation only" colleagues Rabbis Jonathan
Super Bowl festivities.
Berkun and Eric Yanoff to help
And that was a goal of the
realize the program conceived by
"Souper Bowl," a full day of enter-
the synagogue's program director,
taining and personal service for
180 homeless individuals and
• The guests, mostly from area
shelters and warming stations,
Another important goal for the
were invited to take what they
visitors at Congregation Shaarey
needed from table after table of
Zedek on Sunday, Feb. 5, was to
clothing, bedding and toiletry
provide them with the means to
items donated during a communi-
"by 10 a.m.,
we realized we
out of blan-
outside to the
Volunteers Chris and Brittany Beider, 10 and 11, respectively, of West Bloomfield have fun
with magician Jim Carmody of Farmington Hills.
enlisted students to solicit parents
for donations so a volunteer could
shop for more.
And that was just the begin-
Receiving A Gift
All day, needs were assessed and
A woman with a young child
needed diapers and baby clothes,
not among the donated items; so a
volunteer went out to get them.
"There was a man who said his
cane was broken, so someone
went to CVS and bought him a
new one Rabbi Krakoff said. "We
were able to help with bus passes
and to assist a woman in getting
her impounded car back!'
When coats were running low, a
volunteer went home to get some
of her own. And a young man was
taken to a service station to fill up
his near-empty gas tank.
And then there was the hat.
During a chat with a 15-year-
old guest, volunteer Jay Winkler of
Franklin learned the boy was
interested in sports clothing.
"That's when Rabbi Krakoff
took his own Super Bowl cap off
his head and gave it to him',' said
Jay's mom; Bonnie Laker Winkler.
"The boy started
Avove: Rabbi Joseph Krakoff of
dancing he was so
Southfield and volunteer Jo
happy. And Jay said,
Ann Shatanoff of West
`Tomorrow in school,
Bloomfield get lunch ready.
instead of being a
homeless kid, this boy
will be the cool kid
with the Super Bowl
Left: Lori Randolph of West
Bloomfield, Caden Sprague, 10
months, and Shauna Sprague
went beyond tangible
of Oakland County.
items. "One of our
February 9 • 2006
volunteers was a doctor who
donated clothes. And it was so .
checked our guests',' Bello said.
rewarding — such a good feeling
And one of our congiegants even
— to see exactly where they were
offered one of the 'guests a job."
going:' said Alyssa, who volun-
Some reacted to the event in
teered with her mother, Valeri
unexpected ways. A man named
Robert chose clothes and a pair of
Silverstein and Winkler — who
work boots for his new job and
both brought their children to the
then asked how he could come -
event — spent last week coordi-
back and volunteer once he was
nating and organizing the sorting
back on his feet.
of clothing donations and were on
Another gentleman named
hand for their distribution.
Other volunteers of
the project — co-spon-
how to cut
sored by Shaarey Zedek
hair, so a
and the Jewish News —
helped out with cook-
was set up
ing and serving the sit-
down meals through-
out the day.
Shaarey Zedek pro-
gram assistant Shelly
Golsky organized food
Volunteers Bonnie L aker
donations and searched
Winkler of Franklin a nd
guests lined Lori Silverstein of
for recipes for large-
up for hair- Huntington Woods.
. "Someone said to me
"Some of the children were
that the meal was his
looking for earrings and cologne
Thanksgiving,"Valeri Sirlin said as
for their mothers and sisters:' said she packed carryout dinners for
volunteer Lori Silverstein of
the barber and his client who
Huntington Woods. "They weren't
couldn't stop to join the others for
looking for things for themselves,
the meal. "The group kept telling
but they were worried about the
us how spoiled they felt."
rest of their families."
Most visitors shared how they'd
Among the 500 volunteers were
use the donated items.
families with young children and
"One woman told me she need-
teens learning a world lesson that
ed a blanket because the church
could never be taught in school.
floors where she sleeps are cold:'
Watching homeless parents and Silverstein said.
their children, Alyssa Sirlin, 17, of
"People who were here came for
West Bloomfield said, "It made me help on the road•to a second
feel I shouldn't take things for
chance,' said Gregory McKnight, a
granted. My dad [Keith Sirlin]
client of the South Oakland