Community service runs in the family for Alan Eidelman, his wife, Sandy, their two daughters and their five granddaughters.
One thing they all enjoy is volunteering for Yad Ezra, the kosher community food bank in Berkley.
The Eidelmans of Commerce Township are both retired educators. He taught social studies at Clawson High School for many years and then at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. Sandy, a math teacher, also ended up at Sacred Heart after teaching at Frost Middle School in Oak Park, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah and the now-closed Bishop Gallagher High School in Harper Woods.
The Sacred Heart girls did a service project every Thursday, and Alan Eidelman frequently took his students to volunteer at Gleaners Community Food Bank. The school closes for a week every spring so the students can do service projects, often out of town. Sandy Eidelman took students to New York (six times) and several other states.
When they retired, the Eidelmans used their new-found free time to volunteer for the Jewish community. In addition to working at Yad Ezra, Alan is a docent at the Holocaust Memorial Center. Sandy has a been a day chair at Bookstock. Both work on NCJW’s Back-to-School Store in late summer.
At Yad Ezra, Alan is often “the guy giving out the potatoes.” He also enjoys working the “Borsht Belt,” distributing bottles of borsht and packages of kasha to Yad Ezra’s Russian clients.
When Sandy isn’t helping customers find food items, she works in the office.
The Eidelmans’ older daughter, Lisa Cutler, has a demanding job as senior director of philanthropic operations and community development at the Jewish Federation that doesn’t leave her much time to volunteer, but her daughters, Emma, 13, and Lexie, 11, like to work at Yad Ezra when they have a day off from Hillel Day School (where their father, Josh, teaches).
Younger daughter Lori Langenderfer of Canton is a middle school social studies teacher. When there’s a school holiday, she and her daughters often join Alan and Sandy at Yad Ezra. Zoe, 13, and the twins Payton and Riley, 11, help with the potatoes, pack fresh vegetables or help clients find what they need.
Eidelman says he and his wife tried to pass on to their daughters the belief that it’s important to help others. Now they are passing the same lesson on to their grandchildren.
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Weekly through May 3, when the JN holds its 75th anniversary gala, we will run profiles of multi-generational families involved in the community. Readers are invited to share their multi-generational photos, a brief description of those pictured and contact information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Digital photos need to be 1mb jpgs. Mail print photos to the JN, with your description. To learn about the gala, go to djnfoundation.org. Thanks!