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November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

For the past four years I have worked with Gail Oliver to bring developmentally disabled residents of group homes and their caretakers to Bet Am Shalom Synagogue twice a year for a special, brief Shabbat service and kiddush lunch. Gail is a joy to work with -- caring, responsive and supportive. She makes all the arrangememtns with the group homes, and we always get a great turnout We at BAS are grateful to Gail and WJCS for enabling us to participate in this wonderful and very meaningful program.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity for our congregants to connect personally with group home residents and their caregivers and really live our ideals and values as a sacred community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

Gail Oliver has helped to organize our Temple's (TINW) Share a shabbat program with Opengate Inc,group home for Developmentally Disabled individuals. The program is extremely successful and enjoyed tremendously by both Temple and Group Home residents. Recently the program was published in Jewish Week. Gail also organized a Concert with our temple band ShaMa NNaNa , approximatly 100 people participated in this event.She is an invaluable resource for our Jewish community and the developmentally disabled

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the joy in the eyes of participants of Share a Shabbat and Jewish concerts

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Gail Oliver is always helpful, professional, available and resourceful

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

Gail from Havurah helped the youth group I lead from Bet Am Shalom synagogue in arranging to visit homes of mentally challenged adults for the Jewish holiday Purim. The supervisors of the homes and the adults that live there were so welcoming and nice, my youth had a wonderful experience of community service!

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Gail and the supervisors at the homes were wonderful, helpful and welcoming.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

The holiday celebration experience for the Jewish clients of WARC is priceless. They get to go out, socialize, and meet friends,celebrate holidays and enjoy refreshments and sometimes dinner.They enjoy religious enrichment and feel welcome and loved.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In watching the clients, who have a very positive experience each and every time,

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

The seder for the developmentally disabled, held at Temple Shaaray Tefillah in Bedford, is an amazing event! The residents look forward to it, year after year. For many of them, it is the highlight of their year. It is also a wonderful experience for the youth volunteers. Gail Oliver done a tremendous job of putting it all together.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring these experiences to more people

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

WJCS brings developmentally disabled adults to my temple, Westchester Reform Temple, twice a year for different celebrations. Watching these adults enjoy a show, have singing opportunities, a chance to socialize with teenage congregants, and taste and savor appropriate foods warms anyone's heart. It is one of the most endearing activities anyone can be part of. WJCS Havorah program allows these developmentally disabled adults to experience such wonderful and varied programs. I myself volunteer to organize and run one of these celebrations. It is one of the most important things I feel I do. I have even befriended three of these developmentally disabled adults making sure they attend as many of the outings as possible. One of my greatest pleasures is to plan a party for these special lovely adults. I am also the Director of a Day Care Center. Many preteenages come from WJCS to my center to do their Mitzvah project for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Giving these preteenagers a chance to be with young children from low income families and to do a Mitzvah would not be possible without WJCS recommending them to my center. The children at the center LOVE when these youngsters come to play with them, give them attention and talk to them. It is a win-win situation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working with one of your staff members in planning special parties for the developmentally disabled adults every year.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people are delightful to work with. Always having the best interest of others take precedent.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

accessible, easy to talk to, easy to get along with, approachable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have many large recreation centers to do more of their work deeds.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

I spent some of the best times of my life as a volunteer with this community....Under the guidance of Gail Oliver, everyone shares in enriching,fun joyous experiences..Holiday times are filled with great food, stories and robust singing! I found every person participating with pleasure, laughter and good fun in an environment of caring, compassion and concern. Gail Oliver is a wonder; I was so fortunate to be a small part of this group;my times with this group changed and enriched my life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

sharing holiday expereinces...principally Passover..music and singing and laughter and stories and good food and fun.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Life changing community experience!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

The Havorah Program at WJCS, directed by Gail Oliver, is one of those unique programs that benefit both the developmentally disabled adults it is intended for and the volunteers who participate. One of the volunteers showed up at the annual seder at Beth El Synagogue and he suddenly panicked, saying he couldn;t work with "these people." He forced himself, though, and is now one of our most dependable volunteers who is there for us every year. Some of the adults have told me that without this seder, they would just sit and watch TV. For many of them, it is the only Passover celebration they will experience.Other holiday celebrations are planned throughout the year, including a special Shabbat which we have hosted many times. A forgotten population is given the opportunity to celebrate their heritage in a most meaningful way.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

helping a population that many people shun and learning from them about myself. I felt I gained as much as I gave, a most unique experience.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, compassionate, enthusaistic, and energized.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

it would just do more and more phenomenal things!!

Ways to make it better...

we had more funding!! To serve a full meal to hundreds of people is terrible costly, and to get it donated, terribly time consuming.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

WJCS has been an integral part of Temple Shaaray Tefila's life cycle events. Shari Baum is always available to discuss programs, help with congregants going through tough times and makes a difference in the lives of so many. Her participation in our Caring Community has made a great impact on our program. When someone needs help, is in emotional pain or whatever else may be happening in their lives a WJCS has the answer and can tell us where to go for help and usually within their confines of available services. The Jewish community is blessed to have WJCS within our county and we are comfortable knowing they are there for us. Harriett Zeller, Temple Shaaray Tefila. Bedford Corners

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that the Jewish Community has an organiztion to go to when help is needed. It provides comfort and much needed aid.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 3, 2009

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November 3, 2009

The Havorah Program has had a lasting impact on the people that have been involved, either as volunteers or clients. A volunteer for many years at several different events, I have been able to see the great effects that the programs have on the clients, giving them entertainment, education, Jewish involvement, and friendships both with other clients and with the volunteers and staff. The events are always well organized, filled with Jewish zest and spirit, and are truly a remarkable experience to be apart of. Watching the clients joy as they dance and sing to Jewish music at both the Sukkot and Passover events have shown the amazing impact such a program can have on a mentally disabled adult.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff and volunteers were all so helpful and enthusiastic. Each person truly seemed as though they cared so much about the clients, and all shared a love for Judaism and the Jewish traditions. The staff were always well organized and committed.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

work with children in an after-school program; mentor a teen; help package clothing for needy families; become a friendly visitor to an isolated person. Volunteer