Five young Broadway veterans treated children from Brooklyn communities profoundly impacted by Hurricane Sandy to a special performance for the holidays on Sunday, December 16, 2012. The event, UJA-Federation of New York's Hugs for Chanukah, brought together 180 kids with their parents and grandparents for an afternoon of song, face painting, carnival games, crafts, and snacks at the Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency.
More than 40 UJA-Federation volunteers and staff from Westchester manned the games and crafts, as well as set up and broke down the party that brought holiday cheer to this hard-hit community. Kids in attendance received stuffed lions and gifts cards.
Young guests also were treated to a special performance by five young Broadway veterans ranging in age from 11 to 14, including Rachel Resheff (The People in the Picture, Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot); Kara Oates (Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot); David Gabriel Lerner (Mary Poppins, Oliver); Tyler Merna (Mary Poppins - Broadway and first national tour); and Lilla Crawford (Annie).
UJA-Federation has been at the forefront of relief since Hurricane Sandy hit. To date, more than $13 million has been allocated to provide help to those most devastated by the storm. UJA-Federation - together with its network of agencies and local synagogues - quickly stepped forward and mobilized thousands of professionals and volunteers to care for the people and communities who bore the brunt of the storm.
"Being able to throw an incredible Chanukah party for this community that has experienced such devastation is a great joy and a privilege for us," says UJA-Federation's Westchester Regional Chair Pam Wexler.
For more than 90 years, UJA-Federation has been a central force for communal planning and philanthropy in the New York Jewish community. Through UJA-Federation, almost 60,000 donors pool their resources to help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning,
and strengthen Jewish communities around the world -- to address the issues that matter to us most as Jews and as New Yorkers. Working with nearly 100 network beneficiary agencies, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations, our reach spans from New York to Israel to more than 60 other countries around the world, touching 4.5 million people each year. Because we do the most good when we do it together. For more information on UJA-Federation's relief initiative, click on www.ujafedny.org/connect-to-recovery.
Pictured: Broadway kids Lilla Crawford (Annie); Rachel Resheff (The People in the Picture, Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot); Kara Oates (Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot); David Lerner (Mary Poppins, Oliver); and Tyler Merna (Mary Poppins) at the Shorefront Y. Photo Credit: Dr. Mark Lerner.