Claire Ginsburg Goldstein
the teddy bear Rabbi

The donations pour in from Paramus’ Congregation Beth Tefillah

I am allowed to publish this photo only with the sticker covering the donor girl’s face.

Another tragedy. Another collection organized. This tragedy was an act of Nature. This time, it can’t be blamed on human kind. Or can it?

Is it yet another case of global warming?  But why is it that over 41,000 had to die to date with the thought that the numbers will climb that much higher in the coming days? Or can the blame be directed towards the administrators in charge who care more about their personal gain than caring about the inhabitants of our planet?

Contractors are being blamed. Architects are included in the pointing of the finger.

For those lucky to have lived in a lower level housing project, they had a chance to survive.

Eight million children now without a place to live.

Who will pick up the pieces and help them deal with their newest trauma?

Survivors are stepping forward to take on the added responsibility of the newest survivors, the littlest and most vulnerable ones.

And then there are people like us, here in the US, in Bergen County, NJ who want to do what we can and make these children feel a bit more loved and cared for, now that their families are gone.

So we here at Bears from Bergenfield, we are collecting once again. This time, we focused on any areas that joined together to collect in a big way. For this newest disaster relief mission collection, it was Paramus that stepped up to help us.

We have two collections going. One just finished at Congregation Beth Tefillah in Paramus. They finished up in a huge way. The family members collected close to 400 toys in less than one week.  The other  collection is ongoing. It is a joint effort from two towns, Paramus and Fair Lawn.  Those towns share a combined Hebrew school. They are still collecting….

So for how long will the collections be ongoing?

Will disasters ever cease or even slow down to less than one a day?

For now, we know the answer. No. So we continue to collect, to help the children, the newest victims, survive their newest traumas.

This young girl in the picture was able to step up and help collect. She figured that she can give of her stuffed toy collection, so why not?  She still has plenty more to play with.  She can offer her support and help the other children begin to heal, by offering them some fun and relaxation by having fun with her donations.

We may not be able to stop global warming and the insensitivity of those who care only about themselves on our planet. But we can certainly show the adults that the children have the answers. They know how to share their toys and “play in the sandbox peacefully and how to stay safe”, so to speak. Our children will lead us to the answers of how to repair our broken world in need of healing.

Her smiling face tells us all that we need to know.

May the survivors of the Feb. 6th Turkey/Syria Earthquake find a sure way to heal.

May their memories be for a blessing, for those who are no longer in this world.

And we will continue to collect, until there is no more need.

Bears from Bergenfield

Rabbi Claire Ginsburg Goldstein

Over 200,600 collected for the various tragedies in the past twenty years.

About the Author
Rabbi Claire conceived of the concept Bears from Bergenfield upon a routine check of the Israeli staff at camp SLC August of 2001. She realized that the world needed to wake up and become aware of the suffering the Israelis were enduring as the Palestinians continued their intifada against them. After 18 years and 195,000 teddy bears amassed and redistributed, Rabbi Claire is searching for more public platforms to proliferate and advance her message, that Jewish lives matter, especially with a teddy bear. Rabbi Claire lives in Bergen County with her husband of 38 years, Larry, and their 4 children, Sam, Shira, Seth, and Sarah Rose, plus their incoming son-in-law Ivan. For further information of how to get involved with this endearing project, contact her at