Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal “Boca, Delray Groups Join For Hurricane Relief”

Boca, Delray groups join for hurricane relief

Synagogues, churches, agencies and organizations from throughout Boca Raton and Delray Beach have come together to mount a united effort to help hurricane victims in Texas called the United Boca Delray Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort. Some of these supplies may be temporarily supplied instead to residents of South Florida if Hurricane Irma hits in a devastating way.


Press Release: Boca Delray Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort


Date: September 1, 2017


Andrea Schuver
Desk: 561-852-3278
Cell 24/7: 561-716-5107

Summer Faerman


Houses of Worship, Agencies, Organizations Join in Community Response

(supply list and community partners to date follow release)


Boca Raton, FL    Deeply concerned with the plight of people facing devastation and uncertainty in the ongoing disaster and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, synagogues, churches, agencies and organizations from throughout Boca Raton and Delray Beach have come together to mount a united effort to help. In under three days, more than fifty groups (see list below) have joined the Boca Delray Hurricane Harvey Relief humanitarian collaboration, and that number keeps rising.

In addition to raising emergency funds, the group has opened a community-wide collection site for material donations at Lynn Financial Center, 1875 NW Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton (use East Entrance). Beginning on Friday, September 1, donations will be accepted daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week.

The most urgently needed items are: Diapers – all sizes, zinc oxide diaper cream, baby wipes, baby formula, Ensure-type nutritional drinks for children and adults, socks, underwear – all sizes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hygiene wipes, cereal bars, individually wrapped snacks, Neosporin, Band-Aids, Squeeze applesauce, protein bars, and water (see list format below).

Ron Gallatin, Chairman, President & CEO of Hands On Tzedakah (HOT), the Boca Raton-based nonprofit charity coordinating the collaborative local relief collections and distribution, explains that, as it has in other urgent situations, HOT is working with groups on the ground to determine, collect and purchase what is most needed, as well as arranging deliveries for most effective immediate distribution.

Summer Faerman, the Project Coordinator, added, “HOT has already purchased and, courtesy of NFI Industries in Dallas, trucked $40,000 of critically needed supplies to Houston, in one case to assist with clean-up and, in the other, to meet basic necessities for daily living.“

“A huge humanitarian effort is needed to help address the unimaginable destruction and displacement that Hurricane Harvey has wrought, and our own community is stepping up in a major way,” said Gallatin. “In addition to all of our varied local synagogues, Jewish schools and agencies, other groups joining us so far include Boca Raton Interfaith Clergy Association, Boca Helping Hands, Boca Raton Rotary, Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation and FAU Student Government,” Gallatin continued.

Spiritual leaders of local Conservative, Orthodox and Reform synagogues quickly embraced the collaborative community effort.

“We are fortunate in our area, because we have not experienced this type of devastation, and because we are a community with the capacity to help others in a large way,” said Rabbi David Steinhardt, Sr. Rabbi at the Conservative B’nai Torah Congregation. “The fact that we have developed a deep connection between our various synagogues and community agencies has allowed us to come together to help those suffering and in need in Texas. Reaching out to our fellow human beings during a time of need is responding to a fundamental religious call.”

“While we pray that natural disasters never strike, the devastation of Hurricane Harvey provides an opportunity to bring out the best in people,” said Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Sr. Rabbi at the Modern Orthodox Boca Raton Synagogue. “I am extremely proud that our Boca Raton community has come together to coordinate our relief and volunteer efforts in a unified way.”

“The commandment ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ teaches us that we must reach out with care and compassion, especially to the most vulnerable,” Rabbi Dan Levin, Sr. Rabbi at the Reform Temple Beth El. “Seeing our community come together to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from this disaster is to see the holiness of our tradition come to life.”

In addition to urgently needed material goods, monetary and service contributions are coming in, and more are urgently needed. Gallatin assures that 100% of funds received will be used to help those severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“We very quickly received our first $75,000 in varied contributions, with HOT’s $25,000 challenge grant met almost immediately,” said HOT’s Ron Gallatin. “Cash, checks and in-kind donations keep arriving, and all local synagogues as well as other houses of worship will be spreading the word this weekend. “We are also grateful for in-kind donations including packing supplies from Home Depot Foundation, space from Lynn Financial Center, tables and chairs from Florida Atlantic University, signage from Signarama, and trucking from Florida to Texas thanks to Gerald and Donna Kramer and Family. We look forward to additional corporate participation.”

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County joined the partnership at the outset. The Federation’s Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation has already contributed an Emergency Grant of $25,000. The Federation has also donated $30,000 from designated donations for Hurricane Harvey relief, said President & CEO Matthew C. Levin. The combined $55,000 was sent through the Jewish Federations of North America’s extensive efforts which have so far raised an estimated $2.5 million and provided key staff on the ground in Houston.

“Our Federation will be proudly contributing to Boca Delray Hurricane Relief as well,” said Levin. “We are thrilled to be part of this vital community collaboration, and commend HOT for engaging so many partners so quickly. Bringing so many of us together to help in a time of crisis strengthens us as a community and a people as it provides urgently needed help to those living with the tragic effects of this devastating storm.”


Financial contributions may be brought to the donation center, or made through individual houses of worship or organizations earmarking funds for the collaborative community project. Checks made out to “HOT” or “Hands On Tzedakah” may also be mailed to 2901 Clint Moore #318, Boca Raton, FL 33496. Some houses of worship, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and other groups are accepting online donations specifically for Hurricane Harvey Relief, which may also be designated at


Volunteer opportunities are available at the collection site. Please see Project Coordinator Summer Faerman upon arrival for an assignment.

For more information about the Boca Delray Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts, contact Summer Faerman at or 561-571-1274.

Andrea Schuver
Desk: 561-852-3278
Cell 24/7: 561-716-5107

Summer Faerman


Some of the most needed Hurricane Harvey relief items:
Diapers – all sizes
Zinc oxide (diaper cream)
Baby wipes
Baby formula
Ensure for children and adults
Underwear – all sizes
Tooth brushes
Tooth paste
Hygiene wipes
Cereal bars
Individually wrapped snacks
Squeeze applesauce
Protein bars



Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center
American Association of Caregiving Youth*
Anshei Emuna Congregation
B’nai Torah Congregation**
Boca Helping Hands
Boca Raton Interfaith Clergy Association**
Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation
Boca Raton Rotary
Boca Raton Synagogue West
Boca Jewish Center/Shaaray Tefilla
Boca Raton Jewish Experience
Boca Raton Synagogue**
Chabad Israeli Center
Chabad of Central Boca Raton
Chabad of East Boca Raton
Chabad of East Delray
Chabad of West Boca Raton
Chabad Student Center
Congregation B’nai Israel
Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
Congregation Torah Ohr
Delray Orthodox Synagogue
Donna Klein Jewish Academy
East Boca Kehilla
FAU Student Government
Hadar High School for Girls
Hands On Tzedakah (HOT)**
Hillel of Palm Beach and Broward
Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach
Home Depot Foundation
Jewish Association for Residential Care
Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County**
Deborah & Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton
Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida
Liumi Israel
Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services
Samaritans365 Foundation
Temple Anshei Shalom
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton**
Temple Beth Shira
Temple Sinai of Palm Beach County
The Neshama Institute
Torah Academy of Boca Raton
Yeshiva Tiferes Torah of Boca Raton
Young Israel of Boca Raton

*In formation, as of 9/1/17
**Steering Committee Member

Milagro Center Receives Challenge Grant from Hands On Tzedakah

Contact: Barbara J. Stark, Executive Director

Milagro Center Receives Challenge Grant From Hands On Tzedakah, Inc.
For Milagro’s Teen Program Serving Local Disadvantaged At-Risk Youth 

Delray Beach, FL – Nonprofit arts and education program based Milagro Center is the recent recipient of a $12,000 challenge grant from Hands On Tzedakah, Inc. to be used towards the purchase of a new passenger van for Milagro’s Teen Program. On July 1, Hands On Tzedakah (HOT) Co-founder and CEO Ron Gallatin issued a challenge to Milagro to raise $12,000 (half the cost of the vehicle) by August 1, 2014, and if successful, HOT would grant the matching $12,000. In response, Milagro Center launched its “VAN-tastic Challenge.” With the help of many supporters, including the Wells Fargo Foundation, Florida Community Bank, GL Homes, PermaPlate, Kurt and Mary Ann Knaus, and Todd and Gina Skelton, Milagro successfully raised the funds needed to meet the challenge in just 9 days.

The new van will benefit Milagro Center’s Teen Leadership Program which serves middle and high school youth ages 12-18 years old in an afterschool and summer camp setting. Currently, over 50 teens attend the Teen Program which provides cultural arts exposure and instruction, academic tutoring, Living Values Education, financial literacy, recreational activities, life lessons and leadership skills. With the success of the “VAN-tastic Challenge,” the new passenger van will allow the Teen Program further growth by providing transportation from neighboring schools to the center. Additionally, the van will enable Milagro Center to add additional off-site field trips to its enrichment program.

Since 2013, Hands On Tzedakah has been an advocate of Milagro Center, raising and granting greater than $42,000 in support of Milagro’s math and literacy instruction, summer camp program, and center improvements such as an Automated External Defibrillator, outdoor drinking fountain, and security system. “We are extremely grateful that Hands on Tzedakah has provided Milagro Center with such important and ongoing support,” said Milagro Center Executive Director Barbara Stark. “It is gratifying that such a wonderful and respected organization that reaches donors worldwide acknowledges the tremendous impact Milagro Center’s programs have on the academic and social growth of the children and youth who attend our center right here in Delray Beach.”

About Milagro Center 

Milagro Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is an arts and education program that nurtures the seeds of creativity, builds an indestructible sense of self worth, and inspires youth to reach their fullest potential. Milagro, which means “miracle” in Spanish, serves disadvantaged, undervalued children, teens, and families throughout South Florida. The Center’s four goals are to ensure academic success, promote the arts, teach inclusion while embracing diversity, and create strong individuals who positively impact their communities. Please visit the website at, become a Facebook fan of “The Milagro Center” Cause page, and follow Milagro Center on Twitter @MilagroCenter.

About Hands On Tzedakah, Inc. 

Hands On Tzedakah’s mission is to reach out to individuals in need by supporting programs that fall below the radar screen of traditional funding. Hands On Tzedakah collaborates with people who dedicate themselves to helping others. We are partners (1) in programs where our funding serves to make a profound difference in people’s lives; and (2) with our donors by enabling them to see, touch, and feel the effect of their dollars at work. Please visit the website


Critical Help for Seniors Below the Poverty Level

The following press release was issued on February 9, 2012.  Read about an incredible program HOT has created to dramatically impact the lives of impoverished seniors.  You can also hear the voice of one person who called to share how much the help has meant to her.

* * *

South Palm Beach County images of lushly landscaped gated communities may make it difficult to believe that among us are seniors trying to live on incomes far below the poverty level. But, thanks to a local charity, things got just a little easier for 131 such Delray Beach and Boca Raton seniors, who have been clients of Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service (JFS).

Thanks to the generosity of Hands On Tzedakah (HOT), these seniors, whose incomes are 50% to 75% below the Federal Poverty Level, are now receiving monthly merchandise cards to cover non-food essentials such as prescription co-pays and personal care items. HOT is a Boca Raton-based charity that provides basic safety net assistance to those whose needs would otherwise go unmet. The cards are purchased at a discount to stretch the donated funds as far as possible.

“It’s hard to imagine that some of the seniors in our community are surviving on less than $7,000 a year,” said Danielle Hartman, JFS President and CEO. “These are our neighbors, many of whom may have never worked or worked at low wage jobs throughout their adult lives and receive minimal, if any, social security.”

“JFS was already taking care of their nutritional needs, but beyond food there are so many basic necessities of life that seniors at this level must often go without,” said Ron Gallatin, Chairman and CEO of HOT. “We wanted to make sure that they had a monthly supplement so there is never a month, never a week, and never a day that one of these local seniors is unable to buy one of life’s basic necessities.”

After receiving her first card, Judy left an unsolicited tearful message for JFS, unmistakably expressing what this “gift” means for her, “You don’t know how you made my day. I never go shopping because I never have anything to spend. I wear old clothing and I hardly ever buy any medications because I don’t want to spend the money. I can use my card for clothing, medication or personal supplies. What a beautiful gift you’ve given me.”

Click on the play button (triangle) below to hear Judy’s message:

A non-profit, non-sectarian agency, Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service of South Palm Beach County has been committed to providing help, hope and humanity for people of all ages and beliefs throughout the community since 1979. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, JFS programs and services include food and financial assistance, senior services, counseling and mental health services and many volunteer opportunities. For more information, visit, phone 561-852-3333 or E-mail:

Hands On Tzedakah (HOT), a nonprofit public charity, reaches out to individuals in need by supporting programs that fall below the radar screen of traditional funding. HOT’s major focus is to support “safety-net” or essential, life-sustaining programs that combat hunger, poverty, homelessness and illness, as well as human service projects that address quality-of-life issues such as health and mental wellness, support to victims of terror, or assist those living with economically disadvantages, disabilities, abuse, illness or advanced age. For more information about HOT, or to make contributions to permit us to expand this program, visit or E-mail

Sun Sentinel Profile “Boca Raton Man Creates Hands-On Nonprofit Group”

Unsung Heroes: Ron Gallatin

Name: Ron Gallatin Career: Investment banker Birthplace: New York City Family: Wife, Meryl Gallatin, two children, four grandchildren Cause: Hands on Tzedakah, a nonprofit organization providing financial assistance to support life-sustaining programs on a local and national level. Donors are encouraged to make organization-specific contributions where 100 percent of each goes directly to projects helping those in need.