Elise Dowell, JCCMW CEO

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Observed at JCC of Mid-Westchester

By Stephen E. Lipken

On January 15, the Jewish Community Center Mid-Westchester (JCCMW) observed the MLK Day of Service, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., at the JCCMW. Other organizations that participated with them were the UJA Federation of New York, the Westchester Jewish Council, (WJC), the Harold and Elaine Shames Jewish Community Center on the Hudson,  the Greek Orthodox Diocese of America, and the Church of Saint Pius X. Volunteers packed blizzard boxes containing full, non-perishable meals, for HOPE Community Services in New Rochelle. 

Founded in 1984 by Mary Lou McNaney, teams of volunteers at HOPE serve over 100 meals nightly in their dining room, and a to-go lunch bag is included for the next day. The meals are made by local restaurants, churches ,and organizations. Dinner is served Monday through Friday between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at their location, 50 Washington Avenue, New Rochelle 10801. For more information about HOPE, email them at or call them at 914-634-4010.

According to JCCMW Community Engagement Director Mara Roberge, there were 5500 people at 70 sites performing acts of service in the entire Metro Area; approximately 200 volunteers showed up at JCCMW.

There was also a PJ Reading Corner, providing books for children to read and pictures to color.

Special guests included Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and WJC CEO Elliot Forchheimer.

“The turnout is incredible to give a Day of Service,” Assemblywoman Paulin noted. “Those of us who have been going to these celebrations or commemorations for all these years, to see this kind of support for Day of Service and to understand what the meaning of what Martin Luther King Day is all about is just very rewarding and especially exhilarating at this time.” 

“Today’s program follows the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, where we learn that the way to fight hate is not with hate but rather with love, as we come together across the Jewish community to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., ” WJC CEO Forchheimer added.