Answer the call on Super Sunday

Every year at this time comes Super Sunday, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation's massive telephone drive for contributions to its annual campaign.

This year's event is different: It is dedicated "to the memory of Yitzhak Rabin and to peace."

Although requests for money can start to sound the same year after year, it's also important to remember that the needs are increasing. This year when the phone rings, think of the human faces behind the pitch for dollars.

Think, for example, of frail and elderly Jews, one of our community's most vulnerable segments.

Three-fourths of the residents in San Francisco's Jewish Home for the Aged depend on funding from government programs. Over the next several years, that funding could be reduced dramatically, anywhere from 25 to 75 percent.

Federal funding cuts are also slated for facilities that house seniors who are not in need of acute health care. While federation funds cannot completely offset those reductions, they can certainly help.

When the phone rings Sunday, also think of the many Jewish families, especially single parents, still reeling from the recession. The number of local Jews on welfare has grown as a result of widespread economic hardship, and their ranks could increase further this year.

The annual campaign, by supporting such programs as the Family Recovery Project, pays for a network of services — from financial assistance to psychological counseling — that keep Jewish families from falling through the safety net.

As fellow Jews, we need to be part of that net.

But we also need to help the many former Soviet emigres who continue to relocate to the Bay Area, and to Israel.

For the most part, the Jewish state is meeting the challenge of creating housing and jobs for olim. However, our support is still needed to pay for transportation to Israel and the necessary "basket of services" — including money for housing, food and clothing during the first year. In 1995 alone, the Jewish state will welcome 70,000 immigrants.

There are many fellow Jews who need our support. Super Sunday is an opportunity to do our part.