HOBOKEN -- Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined volunteers Friday as they continued clean-up efforts around Hoboken. Nechama, a Minnesota-based Jewish disaster relief non-profit which specializes in response and training nationwide, teamed up with Teaneck-based Jewish youth group NCSY to clean the Hoboken Multi Services Center, 124 Grand St., which includes a day care that has not yet been able to reopen.
Nechama is based out of St. Louis Park, Minnesota with core staff in cities like Boston and Chicago.
Executive Director Bill Driscoll Jr. set out on a drive from Boston to Hoboken immediately after the storm on Tuesday Oct 30. Driscoll coordinated with other Nechama workers as early as Thursday Nov 1 to begin work on places like the Boys and Girls Club, the United Synagogue of Hoboken, In Jesus' Name food pantry and several residences.
Nechama's work is rooted in the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, Hebrew for repairing the world through acts of goodness.
Operations Manager Dan Hoeft, who is not even Jewish, explained how greatly that philosophy has impacted his life and goals.
"I grew up in rural Minnesota and had like one Jewish friend," said Hoeft. "I got involved when I saw how this organization helped people, and without asking for anything in return. They were like what do you need."
Nechama pairs up their efforts by offering volunteer opportunities to local organizations, and NCSY out of Teaneck, NJ stepped up for Hoboken. The Jewish student organization believes in inspiring the future of Jewish teenagers and strengthening civic activities.
Clean-up of the Hoboken Multi Services Center has been ongoing, first to open a portion for election voting and now to conquer the rest, including the Hoboken Day Care 100, a federally-funded day care center greatly impacted by Sandy.
Mayor Zimmer said Friday that Day Care 100 was going to take awhile to get sanitized and operational and in the mean time, she would be working hard to find a place for those parents to place their children.