UJF's “Big Give” Unites Community for 50 hours of Philanthropy & Impact

The Big Give celebrates 50 years of UJF impacting the local and global Jewish community with a variety of ways to take part in 50 hours of philanthropy and engagement, from November 10 to 12. 

Thanks to the generosity of Stephne and Kerrin Behrend and Monica Smyth and UJF President, Michael Schlessinger, there will be a $50,000 match on all new and increased campaign gifts.

Friday November 10

Shabbuzz Shalom – Join UJF's PJ Library and Temple Beth El TeeBeEs for a pre-Shabbat activity focused on the importance on the tzedakah, tikkum olam, and mitzvot and help us make cards and "Cups of Love" for local first responders. (Register here)

Sunday, November 12

Volunteer opportunities are available all day starting at 9:00 am at the UJF office, with a phone-a-thon, family activities, a Dignity Grows pack, Advocacy 101, and more! (Learn more and register here)

Have a teen in 9-12 grade? Join us at 6:00 pm to learn more. Register here for the Kuriansky Teen Tzedakah program.

Moishe House will host a barbecue at a private home starting at 7:00 pm. Registration is required. (Register here).

You can learn more about taking part in The Big Give at www.ujf/org/thebiggive


This year, United Jewish Federation’s annual “Super Sunday” has been rebranded as “The Big Give,” as UJF celebrates 50 years of impacting the local and global Jewish community. Mark your calendars for November 10 through 12 for 50 hours of philanthropy and impact!

“The Big Give will not only be an event when the community is asked to ‘answer the call and pledge to support the annual campaign of Federation,' but it will be so much more, involving adults and children alike,” according to co-chairs Robin Fischel and Wendy Siegel.

People often ask “What is Federation?” or “ Why Federation?” United Jewish Federation (UJF) of Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien’s mission is to build and safeguard the Jewish community and strengthen connections to Israel and global Jewry by convening and mobilizing the community to invest in Jewish life for today and future generations. UJF prides itself in fostering a welcoming, strong, cohesive Jewish community characterized by compassion, generosity, and commitment to Jewish values and the State of Israel.

By respecting and celebrating diversity, Federation strives to sustain an inclusive, flourishing, and vibrant Jewish community. It is an organization that is here in good times and bad, always present, bringing the community together and acting quickly whenever crises strike. As in years past, all community members are invited to participate in events pertaining to The Big Give. Over the course of the “Big Give Weekend”, there will be numerous learning opportunities and ways to get involved. Children will also receive a “Big Give” package containing items which will encourage them to have fun while learning the importance of giving. Packages will be distributed at Jewish schools like Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy and Gan Yeladim Preschool, and at Hebrew Schools. They can also be picked up at the UJF office (2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor). Each package will include a tzedakah box, “Mitzvah Bingo” card, and information detailing the weekend’s events.

• Children should be encouraged to decorate the Tzedakah boxes in any way they like.

• On or before November 10, the boxes should be turned in to their teachers or brought to the UJF office.

• Every child who brings a completed Mitzvah Bingo Card to the “Big Give” on Sunday, November 12, will receive a surprise gift from UJF.

“Starting with a PJ Library program at Temple Beth El on Friday afternoon, November 10, and again on Sunday, November 12, there will be family-friendly and adult opportunities to volunteer and give back as part of UJF’s Big Give,” shared event co-chair Wendy Siegel.

The UJF phone-a-thon will have shifts throughout the day on November 12, with volunteers manning the phones and reaching out to the community.

“With the war in Israel, we understand the importance of supporting those in need while still working to reach our annual fundraising goals and engage the community,” said co- chair and UJF board member Robin Fischel.

“The Big Give will enable participants to learn more about UJF and the impact our community has on thousands of Jews,” added Siegel.

Far more than just a fundraiser, The Big Give is an opportunity for staff and volunteers from Federation and its partner organizations to come together as one.

“The dollars raised during The Big Give make a real impact on our community, and in Jewish communities all around the world. By ‘answering the call,’ you are ensuring your local and world-wide Jewish communities will stay strong and thrive. Each person can make an impact, no matter the size of their gift. Funds raised go to programs and services, ensuring a Jewish future and care for all those in need,” continued Fischel.

This is a difficult time for all. UJF invites you to come together as a community to work to process our concerns and fears.

The entire “Big Give” weekend will be an opportunity to be together and share with others who care just as deeply about those in Israel. Channeling these emotions through action is one of the best ways to uplift our spirits, and the community. For more information, please contact UJF Deputy Director Eric Ross at eric@ujf. org or at (203) 321-1373.