In First, stories, youth

Building community with bagels: the HABSTY Bagel Project

The annual HABSTY Bagel Project took place once again on Sunday, May 12, delivering smiles and bagels across the city.

HABSTY’s Bagel Project begins in April, when teens start making phone calls to our congregants, asking them to purchase breakfasts to be sent to their loved ones, or to donate breakfasts to women and children who are currently living in a shelter in our city.  Telethon evenings are always exciting and fun.  Not only do teens receive well-deserved community service hours for their efforts, but they get to experience firsthand the support that our congregation has for them.  Our community is generous, supportive, and proud of our teens for taking on this project each year, often share these messages with the teens on the phone.  Students always get a rush and feel a sense of pride after a successful ‘sale’ call.  I love watching teens get excited for each other, and encourage one another as they make their phone calls.

Saturday, May 11, teens gathered at Holy Blossom to spend the evening bagging bagels, baking cookies and getting all the breakfast bags ready for delivery the next morning.  And no Saturday night at temple is complete without an intense game of hide and seek!

Sunday morning, a crew of volunteer drivers and delivery people arrived to deliver bagel breakfasts to friends and family members of our congregation, eagerly awaiting fresh bagels for Sunday brunch.  There were breakfast deliveries made to 6 shelters in the city, feeding over 300 women and children.

What is truly inspiring about the Bagel Project is how it engages members of our congregation.  This year, telethons brought out teens who have not participated in teen programming and events in the past, and even parents to get on the phones.  HABSTY alumni came to help out with delivery route mapping, and the Saturday night packing.  Our delivery drivers included parents and kids, teens, members of the 20’s and 30’s group, and grandparents.

Pam Greenstein, along with her husband Stuart Baltman, and their daughters, Lindsay and Katie, have delivered breakfasts to shelters for a number of years for the Bagel Project. When Pam mentioned her involvement in the project at work, her entire office set up a collection to support the Bagel Project.  Avanade employees sent around an envelope and collected $400 to help send breakfasts to women and children in shelters.

A HUGE Todah Rabah – thank-you to all our donors and supporters, and Yasher Koah, to everyone who stepped up, helped out and took part in a meaningful, community building initiative.  It’s amazing how much bagels can accomplish!

Lisa Isen Baumal

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