Human InterestThe Examiner

Chappaqua Church, Synagogue Partner on Fundraiser for Ukrainian Family

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A young parishioner and his parents at First Congregational Church of Chappaqua was hoping there was something that could be done to help the people of Ukraine suffering through 19 months of war.

Their appeal to Rev. Dr. Martha Jacobs, the senior pastor at the church, has resulted in working with ReSET Westchester, an organization that assists refugee families with their basic needs while resettling, to help a local Ukrainian family that has come to Westchester after losing most of what they have.

This Saturday, Sept. 30, the church is partnering with Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester to use the money raised at its annual Fall FunFest to help with the resettling costs for the family. The event, which is open to everyone in the community of all ages, is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the grounds of the First Congregational Church.

“There is just so much pain and difficulty for these Ukrainian families,” Jacobs said. “So in in a way it’s a no-brainer. We think that this was a good way to help to support a family to resettle in our area.”

Jacobs said she realized that her parishioners couldn’t do it alone, so she reached out to Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe to see if members of the synagogue would be interested in joining forces with First Congregational Church. Jaffe didn’t hesitate to get his congregation involved, she said.

Fittingly, the event is on the second night of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which commemorates when the Israelites were homeless and were forced to build shelters.

“So that’s what we’re doing, helping a family that doesn’t have a roof over their head to be able to have one, which I think is a great tie-in to really talk about it because they’ve been displaced from all they have known and they’re comfortable with and their house has been destroyed,” Jacobs said.

Money raised will go directly to helping to pay the family’s rent, she said.

Last year’s FunFest drew about 100 people, and with a second congregation involved, she hopes the event can draw about twice the crowd.

While the mission is a serious one, it will be filled, as the name of the event suggests, with plenty of fun.

The evening will feature the music of the Don DuPont Band, a silent auction, children’s activities, including a balloon artist, face painter and crafts, and food trucks from the Westchester Burger Co. and Mt. Kisco Seafood. Donors have also pitched in to bring THE DESSERTIST, a Croton-based company, in for the event. There will be free sweets for the attendees.

“We hope it will be a fun opportunity for people to come together,” Jacobs said.

With so much else going on that weekend in the area, it will be a come-as-you-are event with no advance registration needed. Entry is $20, but children 12 and under get in for free.

The First Congregational Church of Chappaqua is located at 210 Orchard Ridge Rd. in Chappaqua. For more information, visit.


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