Get Involved Through Or Zarua and Help Those in Need
“The Reward for Charity Depends Entirely Upon the Extent of the Kindness in it”-Talmud Bavli

In the spirit of gemilut hasadim, the Or Zarua Hesed Committee coordinates the congregation’s efforts to help those within our local community who are in need. Our primary areas of focus include homelessness, literacy and food insecurity with a focus on children and seniors. Ongoing activities and community partners include monthly meal servings at the New York Common Pantry and Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, tutoring children through Innovations for Learning, and volunteering with Dorot to help seniors.

Please contact the Hesed Committee at hesed@orzarua.org to sign up or for more information on any of the projects listed below.

Help the Hungry at NY Common Pantry – No volunteers until further notice
Did you know 1 in 5 New Yorkers is food insecure? We have three ways Or Zarua members can help:
1) Start your day off right and volunteer to help serve a hot breakfast at the NY Common Pantry, 8 East 109th Street on select Tuesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 am.  See the calendar for exact dates. Volunteers plate meals in the kitchen for 150 to 200 food insecure individuals.
2) If the breakfast shift is too early for you, help with the packing and distribution of nutritious, fresh food pantry packages for families from 9 am to noon on select Wednesdays. See the calendar for exact dates.
3) Drop off non-perishable, healthy food items in the Or Zarua Social Hall.
Contact Lesley Palmer at hesed@orzarua.org to sign up or ask questions.

Serve Up Thursday Night Pasta and Salad at NCS – No volunteers until further notice
OZ congregants serve hot food and good cheer at the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter’s East 81st Street Residence from 6:00 pm to 6:45 pm, usually on the third and fourth Thursdays of each month. NOTE changes in April and May dates: April 23 & 30; May 14 & 21.  Contact Jeffrey Haberman at jeff32449@verizon.net, for information.

Visit and Bring Cheer to Ill or Home-bound OZ Congregants
Volunteer to visit and bring cheer to ill or home-bound OZ Congregants. Contact Deborah Wenger: dwenger@orzarua.org or 212-452-2310, ext 12.

Read with a Child to Support Literacy
Or Zarua started volunteering with Innovations for Learning in 2017, organizing teams of members to read with first or second graders each week during the school year.  The OZ tutors read remotely with students in the Bronx for 30 minutes weekly, connecting via phone and an online platform, TutorMate. Registration is in September each year.  To learn more, contact Lesley Palmer at hesed@orzarua.org.

Join DOROT Holiday Package Deliveries
On the Sundays before Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah and Passover, Or Zarua volunteers visit seniors in their homes and bring gift packages of traditional foods and holiday items with DOROT, a nonprofit serving senior citizens.  Holiday Package Deliveries are family friendly and a wonderful way to share the spirit and warmth of the holidays.  Contact Miriam Quart at hesed@orzarua.org for more information.

Celebrate Purim with Project Ore
Every year Or Zarua members celebrate Purim with Project Ore on a Sunday around the holiday.‎ We hear part of the Megillah, sing, eat (of course) and enjoy spending time with some of the members of Project ORE a program for vulnerable and isolated older adults. Children’s.   In addition, during the year our Hebrew school students have served lunch to and done clothing collections for Project Ore members.

Donate to Annual Coat Drive
Help low income families and older adults in New York City by donating gently-used winter coats to OZ’s Annual Coat Drive. All coat sizes are needed. Adult-sized coats are donated to the Educational Alliance for their older adult population through Project ORE, a program for vulnerable and isolated older adults. Children’s coats are donated to New York Cares or a similar program. Donations are accepted from the beginning of November until mid-December; collection bins are located in the OZ Basement.

Join OZ’s Erev Thanksgiving and Erev Christmas “Gleanings” 
Every year Or Zarua volunteers participate in our annual holiday gleaning projects–packing and delivering food donated by Eli Zabar–for our neighbors in need. Volunteers pack up surplus prepared foods, soups and baked goods at Eli’s various business locations and deliver the items to Ronald McDonald House on East 73rd Street (for families with children undergoing medical treatment), the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter residence on 81st Street, and the Salvation and Deliverance Church (on Marmion Avenue in the Bronx). Please contact Jeff Haberman at jeff32449@verizon.net or at 917-697-1677 for information.

Collections for the South Bronx Salvation and Deliverance Church
Pre-owned adult, and children’s clothing, toys, dolls, games, and related items can be put to good use by the many transitional homeless residents and families in the South Bronx. OZ partners with South Bronx Salvation and Deliverance Church, whose members are housekeepers caring for their own local needy. Contact Richard Stadin at 212-744-6697 or stadin1@aol.com to arrange for donations.