A story we missed: Green Valley temple members bake bagels to aid Oregon wildfire relief

Gary Melton of the Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley forms a bagel as part of a men's club fundraiser in November 2020. (Photo courtesy Mike Finkelstein)

Editor’s note: There’s no denying 2020 has been a tough year, and we’re sorry we missed this noteworthy story from last month. Enjoy!

Over the Nov. 8 weekend, members of the men’s club at Beth Shalom Temple Center in Green Valley came together for a bagel making fundraiser for those affected by the wildfires earlier this year in Oregon.

(L-R) Members of the Beth Shalom Temple Center bagel making crew, Michael Benisch, Gary Friedman, Arnie Krohn, Gary Melton, and Howard Cohne (Photo: Lenny Friedman)

“Several of our Beth Shalom Temple Center members are from Southern Oregon and are acutely aware of the devastating toll the recent Almeda fire took on their neighbors in the towns of Talent and Phoenix,” says Mike Finkelstein.

Boiling bagels for the Beth Shalom Temple Center fundraiser to help Oregon wildfire victims. (Photo courtesy Mike Finkelstein)

Led by temple member Lenny Friedman, the men’s club made and sold more than 40 dozen bagels. Proceeds from the effort “along with a generous donation from the Men’s Club own account,” Finkelstein says, were donated to the rabbi’s discretionary fund at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Oregon, which is near the towns that were hit hardest by the fire.

Over the course of two days, six volunteers mixed the dough and five worked in forming, boiling, baking, and sorting bagels. The volunteers all used strict COVID-19 precautionary measures masks, head coverings, and gloves while working in the kitchen.

Finished bagels ready to be bagged and sold by the Beth Shalom Temple Center men’s club. (Photo courtesy Mike Finkelstein)

The BSTC men’s club plans to hold more bagel making fundraisers in 2021, with different community needs, probably local, selected each time, Finkelstein adds.