Family carries on dads legacy of Super Sunday

For one local family, Super Sunday is in the DNA.

Husband and wife Brett and Molly Dick, along with Brett’s twin brother, Randall, are co-chairing the committee overseeing this year’s annual S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation fundraiser, which takes place March 13.

Another family member will hover about in spirit: Brett and Randall’s late father, Jerome, who is credited with inventing Super Sunday in 1980 in the nation’s capitol. He inspired his sons to devote time, money and energy to the Jewish community.

“This was his brainchild,” Randall said of his father, a Virginia native who died in 2005. “My dad said, why not make [campaign fundraising] into a community event, and generate spirit and excitement. They did it in Washington, D.C., and it took off from there.”

It certainly took off in the Bay Area, and even though old-fashioned phone banks have gone the way of the VCR, hundreds of volunteers, armed with cell phones and community spirit, will come to the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club to call thousands of donors and potential donors. 

Co-chairs Randall (from left), Molly and Brett Dick

Last year, the JCF’s Super Sunday hauled in around $800,000. This year, organizers hope to equal or surpass that, though they projected no specific target.

Molly Dick said, “We’re also hoping for a rainy day, so people will be home.”

Brett Dick, a resident of Tiburon, said the appeal of Super Sunday is simple: “Given the economy and possible government cutbacks, fundraising for the federation will be even more critical than in the past. We’re counting on Super Sunday to reach as many of our givers as we can, explain the need and hopefully they will respond.”

While the message is serious, Brett also sees the event as a celebration. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first JCF Super Sunday and the 100th anniversary of the federation itself.

“I was [Super Sunday] chairman back in 1981,” Randall remembered. “It was the first time we ever raised a million dollars on that day.

Organizers expect up to 250 volunteers to show up over the course of the day.

Volunteering for the Jewish community comes easy to the brothers. Randall is a former president of the JCC Association, and was active with United Jewish Appeal and Brandeis Hillel Day School. Brett co-chaired (with his wife, Molly) the federation’s Marin County campaign last year, and also has been a board member of the federation and San Francisco Hillel.

The brothers credit their late parents, Jerome and Zelda Dick, for their sense of obligation to serve.

After creating the concept, Jerome served as national Super Sunday chairman. His tenure coincided with his son’s stint as local chair in 1981. “He’d call me up and tell me [San Francisco] wasn’t making enough money,” Randall said.

Molly remembered her father-in-law, a one-time president of the Washington, D.C., federation, as a Jewish community titan.

“Jerry was an extraordinary man,” she said. “I don’t know that we’ll see lions of the federation world the way there had been. That’s why we agreed to step up to the plate. It’s in his memory.”

For Super Sunday 2011, the brothers and Molly hope to stage a fun and spirited event, even though they know the underlying message is serious.

“The handwriting is on the wall,” Randall said. “Not just for this federation, but all charities will have to raise more money. If we don’t pick up the slack, then you have to cut lots of programs.”

Super Sunday@30: Shaping our Jewish Future
will occur from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 13. For information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Marci Sherman at (415) 512-6222 or visit

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.