Congrats to our April Volunteer Spotlight: the Goldstein family! We couldn't do what we do without the help of our incredible volunteers like you.
The Goldstein's have been volunteering with TOV for many years through the JUF Uptown Cafe, Mitzvah Mania, Good Deeds Day, and most recently through our COVID-19 volunteer response database. We wanted to get to know the Goldstein's a little bit more, so they answered some of our questions below.
1. How did you first get involved with TOV/JUF?
We have a long relationship with TOV/JUF. Both my husband and I are former JCC employees (9 and 22 years, respectively). Our children attended JCC pre-school, Apachi Chicago Day Camp, JCC Camp Chi. We support JCC, Keshet, JUF, to name a few. We are members at Temple Sholom. We have participated in many volunteer opportunities with the TOV Network.
2. What makes it important for you to volunteer through TOV?
It is important for us to volunteer both as individuals and as a family as regularly as we can. We especially enjoy volunteering in the Jewish Community as it connects us to our Jewish identity, as well as our passion for feeding those in need.
3. Are there any fun facts about you that we might not know? Feel free to also share a story or experience that has inspired you.
Michael and I started volunteering regularly at Uptown Cafe in 2018 while our children were at Camp Chi. Upon their return from camp, both boys asked when they could start volunteering with us. The Cafe has a "12 years and older" policy so we gifted them, for their 12th birthdays (they're twins), a night at Uptown Cafe. They LOVED it and we've served dinner at the Cafe once a month since then.
When Governor Pritzker issued the Illinois Stay at Home order, our daily life changed. As part of our quarantine schedule, we perform acts of kindness everyday. So far, this has included delivering groceries for EZRA/TOV, grocery shopping and cooking for friends, one of our sons starting a virtual food drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, one of our sons reading to pre-schoolers, and volunteering at a local food pantry, just to name a few. These acts of kindness (mitzvot, if you will) bring us great happiness, and bring smiles to others. During this challenging time, we are looking for silver linings, and hoping for a return to "normal" with deeper respect, honor, and empathy for others.
We are so lucky to have the Goldstein's as part of our TOV family! To learn more about JUF's important work in the community, sign up to volunteer, or make a donation in their honor, please visit our website!