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A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA
A Dynamic Jewish Early Childhood Center Serving Children Ages 6 Weeks to Entering Pre-K
A Jewish Day School serving students in Grades TK-6
A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA

Operation Backpack Volunteering

Saturday, August 7, 2021 29 Av 5781

12:05 PM - 12:45 PMAdat Ari El Campus

For the past several years, the Adat Ari El congregation has given backpacks to the children of Veterans served by the East LA Veteran Center in Commerce one week before the school year begins. In the past, we've donated 30 backpacks, but this year the need is even greater and we're giving 65 backpacks. These backpacks are filled to the brim with school supplies such as 3- ring-binder notebooks, blue-lined notebook paper, crayons, #2 pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, glue, etc. -- in short, all the supplies students need to achieve academically.  

In the backpack, we include a letter to the Veteran Parents, thanking them for their service to our country and explaining this gift for their children from Adat Ari El. We include an Adat Ari El bookmark which contains a quote from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: "To defend a country you need an Army, but to defend a civilization you need education."  This quote emphasizes Judaism's traditional love of learning and blends it with the mission of our Veterans. 

As a congregation, we will be assembling the backpacks immediately following services on Saturday, August 7. Please attend if you want to help with that work. It goes quickly. You can sign up for services here.

On Sunday August 8, we will be delivering the assembled backpacks to the children and their parents at the East LA Veteran Center in Commerce. We need one person who drives an SUV or a Van to come to Adat on the morning of Sunday, August 8 at 8:45 am. At that time, we take photos with our Rabbis for Adat publicity. Dress as you wish, but photos will be taken. Because we have 65 backpacks, we need a larger car to deliver the goods to the East LA Veteran Center in Commerce, CA. This is an opportunity to fully participate with the delivery of the backpacks to the Veterans' children. It's a beautiful day for face to face, heart to heart Mitzvah-making. The parent Veterans are so grateful, and the children get really excited. 

We will drive in your Van or SUV from Adat to the East LA Veteran Center in Commerce, CA and back again. It's a 45 minute drive one way. We will return to Adat no later than 1 pm. If you drive an SUV or Van, and if you want to learn more about this Mitzvah, please contact Ellen Switkes at

Additionally, we also need to replenish our reserves. Each backpack costs $18 -- chai; filled with supplies, it costs $36 -- double chai. Please donate today. Make checks payable to Adat Ari El and write "Operation Backpack" in the memo line of the check. You can mail them to:

Adat Ari El
12020 Burbank Blvd.
Valley Village, CA 91607

Please write Operation Backpack in the bottom left corner of the envelope.

Many thanks for your enthusiastic support,

Ellen Switkes, Judy Thomas, Jan Chernoff
The Veterans Committee

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Wed, September 22 2021 16 Tishrei 5782