Will Fun-Filled Fundraiser Save the Jewish Center?

Posted by JackSpiegel

The Van Cortlandt Jewish Center, located at 3880 Sedgwick Ave, in the Bronx, will be holding its annual indoor bazaar & carnival on Sunday, November 18th. This will be its eighth year and we hope it will not be the last time the VCJC opens its doors to its community for what has become a popular event for young and old alike.

For years the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center (VCJC) rented space to both the JASA Senior Center and the Department of Education. The DOE has rescinded its contract with the VCJC, leaving it without the more than $100,000 in annual rental income that has made up more than half of their income. Without this income there is not enough revenue coming in to be able to keep their doors open for much longer. This event, coupled with an online auction being run now through November 17th (www.biddingforgood.com/vcjc), will hopefully raise enough money to keep the VCJC’s doors open long enough to find another renter for the space vacated by the DOE.

Doors will open on the 18th at 11am and admission is free. Visitors can sign up to win door prizes, awarded every half hour, ranging in value from $10 to $25. Children ages 3 through 16 can pick a free gift from our array of small toys and gadgets, and then have fun in the carnival game room, playing all types of games and winning great prizes. There’s even a contest to guess the number of Jelly Beans in a big container, winner takes all (but hopefully won’t eat them all at once, and will share with family and friends)! The children can take a break from the games at either 11:30am or 12:30pm (or both, if they so desire) to see the free Magic Shows, performed by John Turdo of Simply Magic.

Delicious Kosher food will be sold including bagels, baked goods, hamburgers, veggie-burgers, hot dogs, French fries, knishes, NY-style pretzels and food brought in from Carlos & Gabby’s of Riverdale. Coffee, tea and cold beverages will also be available for purchase. After enjoying a good meal, patrons can peruse the many vendors and find bargains galore at the bric-a-brac tables. We also hope to have informational booths with handouts and gifts.

There are great raffle prizes to be won, as well. The “adult” raffle has a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 as the top prize, not to be outdone by the Garmin GPS or the Toshiba HD Waterproof Camcorder. Also a basket of goodies from the Candy Box in Riverdale and gift cards from local merchants, including a $50 CVS gift card. The “children’s” raffle has an Apple iPod Touch as top prize, with other prizes being $100 & $50 MasterCard gift cards, a $60 Chelsea Piers Passport, $15 Toys ‘R Us gift card, a K’Nex Pirate Ship set and more! Last but not least is the Split the Pot Raffle with the prize of cold, hard cash – half of whatever is collected.

And finally, what has become a very popular table right around 3pm, is the silent auction. Throughout the day people can peruse the numerous items up for bid and, armed with a bidding number, can anonymously outbid their friends, neighbors and total strangers for the opportunity to bring home something for themselves or a gift for another at a fraction of its value. Many of these items continue from the online auction, many are available only on this day. Bidding closes at 3pm, and there is absentee bidding from online, so if you can’t make the event but want to help the VCJC’s fundraising efforts please visit www.biddingforgood.com/vcjc. There are over 170 items listed on this site!

100% of the proceeds from both the online auction and the bazaar & carnival will go to help the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center keep its doors open so that it may continue to offer twice-daily and holiday prayer services, space for the JASA Senior Center, and NCSY youth group and NA meetings, as well as the lectures, holiday parties, Sisterhood events and community-wide events such as this one. Please come out to show your support for this neighborhood icon.

For additional information contact The Van Cortlandt Jewish Center at 718-884-6105.