News from The Ark
April 2024
Special Edition: Celebrating National Volunteer Month
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Honoring the Heart of Our Community
Welcome to the special Volunteer Appreciation edition of News from The Ark!

This April, as we celebrate National Volunteer Month, we reflect on the extraordinary contributions from our volunteers who are truly the heart of our community. This year, your continued involvement resulted in 2,800 volunteer experiences and more than 9,000 hours of service, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to our clients and organization.

This newsletter not only celebrates the dedication of our community, but also shares inspiring stories that light up every corner of The Ark.

Thank you for making a difference!
The Soul of Our Operations
At The Ark's food pantries in Chicago and Northbrook, the dedication of our volunteers is instrumental in ensuring that shelves are consistently stocked and food packages are delivered promptly. These efforts directly support over 600 households each month. Our volunteers help manage the logistics of sorting through kosher and non-kosher items, and prepare each package with care to meet the specific dietary needs of those we serve.
"Volunteering at The Ark's pantry warehouse has deepened my understanding of the logistics behind community assistance. This role has shown me the tangible impact of chesed (kindness), making each volunteer shift an enriching experience."
Pantry Warehouse Volunteer
"Sorting and packing food might seem simple, but the knowledge that each package helps sustain a family provides a grounding sense of purpose. It's a privilege to be part of a process that ensures no one in our community has to go without a meal."
Pantry Packer 
Our Pantry Delivery Drivers are the crucial link between our pantry's resources and the homes of those who need it most. These volunteers embody dedication, making timely deliveries that bring food, comfort, and connection to those unable to travel to an Ark pantry location.
"There was a winter morning when the roads were slick with ice, but we knew there were families waiting for their food. The gratitude I received from a mother as I handed over the groceries is something I'll never forget. It's moments like these that reinforce why I volunteer—to deliver hope and show that our community cares."
Pantry Delivery Driver 
Café Ark servers provide a welcoming environment for our clients, making every dinner an occasion for people from all walks of life to share an evening of joy over a sit-down catered meal. In a similar spirit, our office volunteers foster an atmosphere that supports the entire Ark team, helping in so many ways when time and bandwidth is limited.
"Volunteering at Café Ark has opened my eyes to seeing what other people’s lives are like. If I hadn’t picked Café Ark as my Bar Mitzvah project, I would have never known what an amazing opportunity this is. And I still volunteer there even months after my Bar Mitzvah celebration."
Café Ark Server
"It's fulfilling to see the direct impact of my work, knowing that every file I update and every call I make helps streamline The Ark's operations. This role has given me a unique opportunity to contribute behind the scenes, where the details matter just as much as the big picture."
Office Volunteer
This year, following The Ark's move to our expanded, renovated Chicago facility at 6450 N. California Avenue, our Friendly Greeter volunteers have been pivotal. They are here daily, ensuring that clients and visitors feel supported and welcomed during this significant transition. Their warm smiles and reassuring presence have been fundamental in helping our community adapt to and embrace their new surroundings.
"As a Friendly Greeter, I strive to be the first warm welcome that visitors receive in The Ark's new facility. It's about creating an atmosphere of comfort and support right from the doorway. I believe that a smile and kind greeting can set the tone for a clients' experience, making them feel valued and respected as they access the services they need."
Friendly Greeter 
Throughout the year, our volunteers shine especially bright during holiday and seasonal programs. From orchestrating our annual Thanksgiving meal delivery program to assisting with our High Holiday collection drive and preparing community meals for Jewish holidays, their commitment creates memorable experiences for everyone involved.
"Being a volunteer for The Ark's seasonal programs has been incredibly rewarding. Each event, whether it's the Thanksgiving meal delivery program or preparing Back-to-School supply bags, gives me a profound sense of connection to our traditions and community."
Seasonal Program Volunteer 
Share your volunteer story with us! Email and tell us what being an Ark volunteer means to you.
Strengthened by Community Organizations
Throughout the year, we've been supported by numerous community organizations that have actively participated in collection drives to support our pantry programs. From camps to schools and synagogues, each group has played a vital role in expanding our reach and deepening community ties. We are immensely grateful for every hand that has joined in our efforts this past year.

A special thank you to our Volunteer and Outreach Committee for all their efforts in facilitating these essential volunteer programs.
Volunteer and Outreach Committee
Chair: Judy Zagorin
Rada Burdeen
Dina Isaacs
Michelle Miller
Cindy Rudman
Lori Silverman
Karyn Silverstein
Yvette Stone
April Victor
A tremendous Kol Hakavod to all the community groups and organizations that have participated in educational and volunteer programs over the last year. Whether at an Ark location or yours, your commitment to raising awareness of the needs within the Jewish community—and working hand-in-hand with us to meet those needs—has been monumentally impactful.
Am Shalom
Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation
Amalgamated Bank
Anshe Emet Synagogue
Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel
Beber Camp
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School
Beth Hillel B'nai Emunah
Brandeis University Chicago Area Alumni
Chicago Jewish Day School
Chicago Sinai Congregation
CJE SeniorLife
Congregation Beth Shalom
Craft for a Cause
Donor's Dream
Federal Reserve Chicago
Girl Scouts
Glencoe Community Garden
Hillel Torah Day School
Honeymoon Israel
Ida Crown Jewish Academy
JCC Chicago
JCFS Chicago Post-Adoption Group
Jewish Family Experience
JUF Diller Teens
JUF Flex
JUF Mensches in Motion
JUF Staff Mission Chicago
JUF Women's City Council
JUF Women's Philanthropy
Kol Hadash
L'Chaim Center
Latin School
Lifeway Foods
Love West Ridge
Maccabim School
Makom Solel Lakeside
Maot Chitim
Niles North High School
Northbrook Community Synagogue
North Shore Congregation Israel
Or Shalom
Park Plaza
Rochelle Zell Jewish High School
The Selfhelp Home
Shir Hadash Synagogue
Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob
Solomon Schechter
Spertus Institute
Synagogue F.R.E.E. of Chicago
Temple Beth-El
Temple Jeremiah
Temple Sholom
West Suburban Temple Har Zion
Wrigleyville Moishe House
YU Kollel
Words of Appreciation from Our Staff
Our volunteers are integral to every facet of The Ark's operations, from direct client interactions to essential administrative support, including our devoted healthcare professionals who generously give their time and expertise. This commitment not only enhances our capacity but enriches our ability to provide personalized support to those we serve. Below are a few heartfelt quotes shared by our staff, reflecting the profound impact our volunteers have across the organization.
"I've seen firsthand how volunteers help our administrative teams work efficiently behind the scenes, ensuring that every aspect of The Ark runs smoothly. From packing pantry bags to helping with finance paperwork, volunteers are the lifeblood of The Ark. The Ark thrives because our community actively participates—it's truly the community's Ark."
Hugh Shonfeld, Development Database Assistant
"Working with Ark volunteers is possibly the most energizing part of my job. I am constantly inspired by their dedication, willingness to go above and beyond, and the abundance of kindness they show towards our community. In the pantry, our volunteers truly rise to any occasion to serve our clients—rain, shine, or snow—supporting us through the challenges of a temporary space and multiple moves, and showing up for The Ark every day in a way that is meaningful beyond words."
Jamie Brocker, Chicago Food Pantry Manager
"Our professional volunteers bring a remarkable depth of knowledge to The Ark's Health Clinic. With a blend of professional expertise and genuine care, they ensure that every patient receives the highest quality of service and fill gaps that might otherwise be inaccessible."
Mimi Seleski, Clinical Manager
"Over the past year, I've had the privilege of meeting and getting to know an incredible array of individuals, each bringing their own unique stories and talents to The Ark. Seeing their passion and commitment in action reminds me daily of the profound impact we accomplish when working together."
Judy Jury, Volunteer and Education Coordinator
Thank You to All Who Make Our Mission Possible!
To all our volunteers, your generosity, spirit, and dedication are the pillars that uphold The Ark. Your efforts bring hope and support to those who turn to us in need. Thank you for your unwavering support and for being part of our Ark family. We look forward to another wonderful year of partnership and impactful volunteering.

Visit to learn more about Ark volunteer opportunities.
"Our volunteers embody the spirit of The Ark. Every task they undertake, no matter how small, is infused with care and a commitment to bettering the lives of others. Their presence brings a light and energy that uplifts everyone within The Ark, transforming our organization into not just a service provider, but a center of compassion and community."
Dawn Lieberman, Director of Community Engagement and Programs
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities at The Ark
Inquire about our most pressing volunteer needs highlighted below, or explore year-round volunteer positions on our website at
Join The Ark's Friendly Greeter Team
The Ark is on the lookout for warm and welcoming individuals to become part of our Friendly Greeters Team at our newly expanded and renovated building at 6450 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60645.

Sign-ups are available for 2-hour shifts during the day, Monday through Friday. As a greeter, you'll become an extension of the reception team by providing guests with a warm welcome into the building after they have checked in at the Welcome Center. Training is provided to all new Friendly Greeters, ensuring you’re fully prepared to make a meaningful impact.

There is a required 90-minute Volunteer Training for all who will be working with clients in our West Rogers Park location.

Email to express your interest and receive more information!
Inventory Assistance at The Ark's Pantry Warehouse
The Ark is seeking volunteers for inventory management at our Pantry Warehouse in Lincolnwood. This volunteer role involves sorting, counting, and organizing inventory, as well as shelving and packing pantry donations for distribution to The Ark's food pantries in Chicago and Northbrook.

Volunteers should be able to lift and move boxes weighing up to 25 lbs. If you have a keen attention to detail and are eager to contribute positively to the local Jewish community, consider joining us for this fulfilling volunteer opportunity.

To sign up or for more information, please contact Judy Jury, Volunteer and Education Coordinator, at
Group Volunteering This Summer
Do you have a group or corporate team interested in making a difference this summer? We are currently scheduling group volunteer sessions for June through August to assist in various programs that benefit Ark clients across multiple departments.

Contact us at to learn more!
Expand Your Impact Through Your Company
Many companies have social responsibility programs to support the organizations their employees care about. Here are some ways your employer can get involved with The Ark: 
Matching Gifts: Multiply your donation by requesting a match. 

Corporate Volunteer Opportunities: Direct service, teambuilding, and learning experiences for you and your colleagues.

Volunteer Grants: Donations in recognition of your volunteer hours—also known as "Dollars for Doers."

Corporate Grants: Let us know if you think The Ark might qualify for a grant. 

In-Kind Gifts: Your company's donated product or service can benefit The Ark and our clients.

Fundraisers and Collection Drives: Raise funds and collect non-perishable kosher food and household supplies for The Market. 

Contact us at to explore these opportunities or to discuss your creative ideas to make a bigger difference together!
The Ark is Hiring!
Assistant Rabbi
As a result of our substantial growth and commitment to Jewish values, The Ark is proud and excited to add a part-time ordained Assistant Rabbi position to our well known and highly respected clergy. The position is designed for an individual who embodies Jewish values and has a profound understanding and practice of Halacha, and offers a unique opportunity to work under the mentorship of our Senior Rabbi while engaging in a wide range of rabbinic activities.
Data Analyst 
The Ark is seeking a Data Analyst to play a pivotal role in our mission of providing comprehensive human services. In this position, the candidate will be responsible for analyzing data to drive decision-making, developing reports, and conducting predictive analysis to enhance our services. Join our team and leverage your analytical skills to empower individuals on their path to self-reliance and contribute to the continued growth and impact of our organization.
Support Our Community This Passover
Chag kasher v’sameach! Happy Passover!
 Your Passover gift will help The Ark provide kosher for Passover food and open community seders, in addition to stable housing, medical care, mental health services, employment counseling, and the wide array of vital services that strengthen our community all year round.
Learn More about The Ark
Case Management and Social Services
Financial Counseling and Assistance
Employment Services
Mental Health Services
Food Assistance and Pantry
Health Clinics and Pharmacy
Housing Solutions
Spiritual Enrichment
We Are Here To Help
Refer a loved one or someone you know to The Ark for support from experienced case managers who create individualized plans using The Ark’s wide array of free services. Call 773-973-1000 or visit
773-973-1000 |