Nadene Zack is a parent of a 5th grader at San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) who recently started a charity project in collaboration with her fellow 5th grade parents. Wanting to do something for the ICU teams in town given the COVID-19 situation, she shared her thoughts on SDJA’s 5th grade “what’s app” thread and reassured her peers that there was absolutely no pressure to contribute. Within a couple of hours the parents raised nearly $1,000; another parent, Daniela Jinich, immediately offered to help Zack coordinate.
Jonathan Goldwasser, owner of Parakeet Café and also a SDJA parent, met Zack outside the restaurant recently and loaded her trunk with food which was brought to Scripps Green. Again popping the trunk to maintain social distancing rules, an ICU team member came down and picked up 20 individually-packed dinners for the night shift. Within the next few days, Jinich’s cousin’s restaurant, Our Green Affair, which opened a week before the lockdown, added to the $360 donation and prepared 50 meals for the SDPD 911 operators/first responders. Jinich’s children added inspirational notes of encouragement to the meals. With a balance, and additional donations still being made, there is over $300 in the pot that will be donated to José Andrés’ efforts in New York City (chef and philanthropist, wck.org/chefsforamerica) and Jewish Family Service of San Diego.
Zack says, “This class and these families are so special. I am blown away by the heartfelt response from these generous parents and grateful for the opportunity for all of us to do something tangible to help during this crazy time. It has been so fulfilling for all of us to give back to the amazing frontline workers as well as to community restaurants.”
Kelley King, head of the Lower School at SDJA, adds, “Nadene and the other parents are living the values we try and instill in our students every day. Their actions are a model for helping others in such a time of need. We are so fortunate they are part of the SDJA family.”