NJ seniors 298.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A group of 15 senior citizens from the Jewish Congregation of Concordia in Monroe, New Jersey, has been touring the country and distributing money and gifts to charities. They return to the US Sunday.
Floyd Langer, the group's leader, said that by handing over the checks in person, they were eliminating overheads and "cutting out the expensive people."
They have collecting money and donated items in their community, which has a large proportion of retired people, for the last year.
This time they raised $15,000 in individual donations, and the synagogue added $10,000, motivated by the hardships caused by the war in Lebanon.
One of the seniors said it was not a lot of money, but that it "represented a sizable sum" to the community, with most donors giving $50 or $100.
About 20 charities received money, including those for lone and needy soldiers and the Lifeline for the Aged.
The congregation also brought $30,000 from a Holocaust survivor group in Monroe to help care for disabled veterans.
They also brought more than 1,000 toys for needy children and handmade blankets and clothing for Ethiopian immigrants. El Al relaxed its baggage rules to allow them to bring 23 suitcases of donated goods for free.
This trip marks the third year that the Concordia Congregation has organized a trip to Israel. Begun as a solidarity mission, the members started raising contributions after someone said, "It would be nice to bring some toys for hospitalized children."
"We do what we can," Langer said.