No matter a person’s background or their socioeconomic status, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom is willing to lend a helping hand. The Western Nassau Chapter of the organization just completed a collection for Hannah’s Project, which raises awareness for the need of feminine hygiene products that are not covered by the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Sisterhood members then delivered the feminine hygiene products intended for women and at-risk teens in shelters, soup kitchens and pantries to three places, including the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC Sustenance Hope Opportunities Place in Cedarhurst on Jan. 6.
The Sisterhood aims to foster a relationship between the Jewish and Muslim religions. This month, Hannah’s Project items have also been delivered to Momma’s House in Wantagh and Domestic Harmony Foundation in Hempstead. Hannah’s Project was initially launched by the Cedarhurst-based anti-poverty think tank Rock and Wrap It Up! in 2016.
Sisterhood member and Lawrence resident Cherie Feinberg said there was no coincidence in the organizations that benefited from the Sisterhood’s donations. “With so much hatred in the world today, we just try to mend fences and build relationships with different groups,” Feinberg, a member since 2017 said. “Our latest Hannah’s Project donations were to a Jewish center, a Muslim organization in the Domestic Harmony Foundation and an African-American organization in Momma’s House.”
Feinberg said the Gural JCC has been a great partner to the Sisterhood. “Since I live in the area, I go to the Gural JCC often to drop items off,” she said. “They’re great to work with and I’m sure they were happy to see that we stocked the shelves before we finished.”
Rock and Wrap It Up! founder Syd Mandelbaum is appreciative of the chapter’s work with the project. “The important thing about Hannah’s Project is that the need for feminine products is so great,” he said. “It’s great to see that an ecumenical group of Jewish and Muslim women like the Sisterhood are coming together to mitigate a common problem.” Mandelbaum added that feminine hygiene products is the second most requested item at shelters and pantries, only behind food.
The SHOP was launched in March 2018 with a mini-supermarket that also offers an assortment of clothes for children and adults and an array of help, from career advice to social services to individuals and families facing financial hardships.
Gural JCC’s Associate Executive Director Stacey Feldman previously highlighted the support offered at the SHOP. “Anybody who comes in that is seeking food can come in and shop with no questions asked,” Feldman said. “If they come in multiple times after, that’s when we’ll ask questions about their current situation and possibly refer them to our social workers.”
To donate, drop off goods at the SHOP, 591 Malvin Mall in the Maple Plaza in Cedarhurst from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 1 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.