11 December 2003

Co-op City Jewish Community Council Hanukkah Gala at Young Isra’el of Co-op City

Co-op City Jewish Community Council Hanukkah [חנכה] Gala at Young Isra’el of Co-op City, Bronx, Thursday, 11 December

A neighbor telephoned and tried to “Shanghai” [上海] (his word) me into volunteering at a local Hanukkah party for Jewish pensioners at an Orthodox temple here in Baychester. I had a time!

There was a lot of work to be done, but there were fifteen or more volunteers for fewer than a hundred attendees, and we tried to have a take-charge attitude. I helped to set up. During the affair, a group of Jewish high school students from Riverdale did most of the serving, so I helped fill the platters, although I did later run around serving coffee, hot water for tea, and pensioners’ miscellaneous requests. And of course afterward, I helped clean up, clearing tables, then collapsing them and rolling them on edge and lifting them to the top of the growing table stack.

Well, my experience was quite different from, say, the last Desilicious party (see below). There was a great feeling of camaraderie amongst the volunteers. I was on quite friendly and humorous terms with them, including one (Ronnie from Rye) with whom I danced to the delight of the assembled pensioners and ourselves. A handful of attendees complimented my clothing and dancing, others were pleased I could communicate in rudimentary Yiddish [ייִדיש], and others were just thrilled to receive free food or drink from me. I even enjoyed the şnorers [‎שנאָרערס] who couldn’t wait and complained because they weren’t served at precisely the same time as the first table. One lady, after finishing her meal, came up and asked for seconds by asking, item by item, for another complete meal. When she finished her second meal, she came back up and got a third for the following day, telling me she’d think of me when she eats it. It was a mexaye [מחיה] watching the seniors dancing. I got a free top-notch meal and free mediocre entertainment. And to top it all off, I met two sexy male volunteers, one of whom gave me his telephone number. Hu-ha! [הו־האַ!‏]

Afterward, Lynn Levine the volunteer organizer said she’d never had a better group of volunteers (although she probably says that to all of them).

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