Temple Beth-El sisterhood delivers some sweetness to hospital staff

Checking in all of the baked goods, Temple Beth-El Sisterhood leader Judi Rosenzweig is flanked my her husband, Elliot, who’s very involved with community service at the temple, and Jon Yedvab, a congregant and nurse at North Shore University Hospital.

Temple Beth-El Sisterhood Delivers Some Sweetness to Hospital Staff

When Sisterhood leaders from Temple Beth-El of Great Neck learned that a simple way to boost hospital workers’ spirits was to bring them homemade desserts, more than 50 families volunteered to bake treats that were delivered to North Shore University Hospital on Wednesday, April 29, and Elmhurst Hospital on Thursday, April 30.

Four SUVs were filled to capacity with an assortment of cupcakes, cookies, brownies, lemon squares, super-fun dipped pretzels, Mandelbrot, meringues and banana bread, including some gluten-free and nut-free options so that everyone could find a favorite.

Goodies were made with love and compassion to bring some sweetness into the hectic lives of these medical professionals. Accompanying the treats were handmade cards, created by Temple Beth-El Religious School students and other congregants, expressing appreciation to essential workers for their tireless dedication.

After Sisterhood leaders Judi Rosenzweig, Jenn Still-Schiff, Rochelle Rosenbloom and Sandy Lubert reached out to Jon Yedvab, a congregant and nurse at North Shore University Hospital, to find out what they could do to honor the essential workers at the hospital, he said that his coworkers would love some home-baked desserts.

Sisterhood then reached out to the temple family asking if anyone wanted to bake. The organizers received an overwhelmingly positive response from the community.

“All of the bakers were thanking us for doing this. Many offered to bake again, if needed,” said Rosenzweig.

“I repeatedly heard: ‘Thank you for organizing this, we wanted to do something,’ ” added Still-Schiff.

Yedvab received so many treats on Wednesday that he was able to bring desserts to the entire hospital—and it took him almost four hours to distribute them.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for the fantastic mitzvah,” beamed Yedvab. “The homemade treats were such a special and sweet delight for everyone. The reactions of joy from the staff on each floor told the story. I’ve received so many compliments from my NSUH colleagues on how much they enjoyed everything. Your kindness made their night.”

But the bakers were the ones who were truly grateful.

“Thank you for helping us do something for those in battle at our local hospitals,” Bonnie Rechler told Sisterhood organizers. “It was an easy but worthwhile effort for all of us. If you plan to do this again or take a similar action, a number of my friends would like the opportunity to participate. Thanks for helping us help.”

Activist and congregant Lois Schaffer agreed. “It was an inspiring sight to see the tangible effects of a call to action,” she explained. “Although the masks hid the facial expressions of all those who contributed to such a worthy cause, the visible energy compensated.”

For congregant Donna Ganzer, “Sharing sweet treats with the frontline workers meant love and support for them.”

Temple members Dr. Maurice Policar, an infectious disease specialist, and his wife, Lisa, a social worker, both work at Elmhurst Hospital and delivered the treats there.

“Thanks for all that you did,” said Dr. Policar after bringing the baked goods to the hospital. “When folks saw the goodies, there were so many ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ It was really nice. Thank you!”

Lubert noted that several parents commented that this was a wonderful activity for their teenage children who loved doing something to help the hospital staff.

“It was a pleasure to be able to contribute to this ‘bake mitzvah,’ ” said congregant Olga Kagan. “My 12-year-old son, David, was very excited to bake, wrap each cookie, pack it, make a card with words of gratitude and appreciation for our health-care workers and bring these freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to the temple for delivery. Having family members who work on frontlines, we always look for opportunities to help and support these amazing workers and their families.”

Temple member Andrea Krauss agreed. “I was so happy to have a vehicle to demonstrate some little thing I could do to show how grateful I am for those on the frontline who risk their own health to help others,” she said. “Thank you for organizing this token of our community’s thanks.”

Congregant Eileen Walk expressed that the Sisterhood team not only engages her but also inspires her.

Of course, recipients are always grateful for simple acts of kindness, but the extra-special homemade treats certainly sweetened the hospital workers’ days.

“While we appreciate everything people do, it’s the special touch and taste of things made at home with love that mean the most during this difficult time,” reflected Yedvab.


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