Super Sunday: giving from the heart

OK, let's admit it. We all hate telemarketers. We all despise getting calls from bothersome strangers. They're always trying to sell us a new credit card, long-distance service or an insurance policy.

But this weekend, quell your reflex to quickly hang up the phone or to let the answering machine screen your calls.

Sunday, a thousand volunteers for the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation will be on the phones. Those Super Sunday volunteers will be calling about 10,000 Bay Area Jews who have contributed in the past but haven't yet responded to the 1998 fund-raising campaign.

Of course, there are always excuses for not giving. The current one for many seems to be concerns over the direction of the Israeli government. The worry is a legitimate one.

But the people of Israel still need our help.

The federation still helps resettle immigrants in Israel. In addition, the federation funds development projects in Israeli towns, and promotes tolerance projects between Jews and Arabs there.

It also helps feed senior citizens in the former Soviet Union.

And the federation is the umbrella organization that helps support dozens of Jewish agencies and programs here in the Bay Area.

Its long list of beneficiaries include day schools, Hillel houses, nursing homes, camps, JCCs, vocational services, immigrant resettlement and counseling.

Sunday, fewer phones will ring in the East Bay. The Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay no longer hosts an equivalent to Super Sunday. So if you haven't sent your pledge in yet, please do so without the extra push of a volunteer's call. You can reach the East Bay federation at (510) 839-2900.

But if you get a ring from an S.F.-based federation volunteer, pick up the phone, offer a few cheerful words and then give from the heart.