Northeast: Five People Making a Difference in the Community

Lisa Sandler, Director of RSVP for the Raymond and Miriam and Klein Jewish Community Center

The Northeast is filled with an abundance of people making  a difference in the community. Whether it’s coordinating after school-programs for children, helping the elderly get nutritious food or supporting breast cancer awareness, people all over the Northeast are opening doors for others to step in and help out, too.

1. When it comes to helping the elderly in the Northeast, turn to Lisa Sandler (above), director of RSVP for the Raymond and Miriam and Klein Jewish Community Center. Sandler helps organize the Cook for a Friend program, which delivers around 50,000 meals annually to the elderly. Sandler helps get breakfast, lunch and dinner to nearly 600 seniors around the Northeast.


Jerusalem and Jerusalem

2. Rabbi Amiram Gabay is extremely well respected in the Jewish community. He is the rabbi at Beit Harambam, a Sephardic synagogue in the Northeast; it is one of only two in the state. He has run the Jerusalem and Jerusalem store for about 30 years. It is special because about 90 percent of its inventory comes from Israel. He also serves as a police chaplain in the Second District. He takes great pride in his Judaism and his congregation. He is extremely involved within the Jewish community and continues to bring a taste of Israel to the Northeast.


John Eskate is the Hunger Relief Volunteer Coordinator at Klein JCC

3. Another person making a difference in the Northeast is John Eskate, who works closely alongside Lisa Sandler at the Klein JCC. As the hunger relief volunteer coordinator, he also works closely with seniors and newly retired people at synagogues, churches and community groups who cook and prepare the food for Kosher Meals on Wheels. Eskate is also in charge of the garden at Klein JCC and its “Grow for a Friend.” The vegetables that grow in the garden are used to supplement the Kosher Meals on Wheels and Cook for a Friend programs.


Andrew Smith, Weekend Programs Manager

4. Andrew Smith is a Northeast resident who helps out his community by offering a safe place for children to hang out on the weekends. As the weekend programs manager at Rhawnhurst Turning Point, Smith is in charge of setting up all activities on the weekend.  Some of the activities Smith coordinates are the Friday movie nights and Service Saturday, where participants take part in various projects around the community.

Rick Brown

5. Rick Brown was co-chair for two years and a captain of the Survivors Tent for the past 13 years. His wife Allyson Brown has been the co-captain for the Survivors breakfast for the past two years and has been volunteering for a total of 13. As co-captains they reach out to their sponsor and help them figure out what they need. They also do the tent set-up and feed survivors and sponsors on the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. They also help gather volunteers for their tent and raise money. As a co-chair, Brown worked events that Susan G. Komen held to support breast cancer awareness.

– Text and images by Ean Dunn and Steven Foltz

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