JFCS making sure no one gets passed over this year

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Peninsula volunteers, including members of Peninsula Temple Sholom's confirmation class, are collecting, packaging and distributing Passover food for nearly 500 people.

"The students want to do all they can to help," said the synagogue's Rabbi Gerald Raiskin. "It's a real mitzvah. The Haggadah tells us to let all who are hungry come and eat, but not everybody in the community is able to come. So we're bringing food to people who are shut in so they can celebrate with the rest of the community."

In Marin, volunteers from Congregation Rodef Sholom's sisterhood and Jewish Women International (formerly B'nai B'rith Women) are putting together seder sacks to distribute to needy families and seniors.

"Helping others at Passover is a continuation of Jewish tradition," says Claudette Greenblat, a member of JWI and veteran JFCS Passover volunteer. "Instead of the older generation giving to us, as they did for years, now we're giving back to them."

For the past 10 years, Greenblat has also helped organize a seder for residents of the Redwoods senior residence in Mill Valley.

"The seder at the Redwoods is quite special. We bring our children or grandchildren to ask the four questions," she says. "Last year one of the women told me that the charoset tasted just like the charoset her mother used to make. I was really touched that we were able to make that connection for her."

JFCS will be reaching out to more than 1,200 people this Passover. It needs donations of packaged kosher-for-Passover foods, including matzah, gefilte fish, horseradish, grape juice, macaroons or candy.