Jennifer Wolfley, Director of Outreach Services
(585) 748-8490 after 9:00 pm
Theodore Wolfley, Jr., Deputy Director
(585) 362-6386
Happy New Year 2024

2024 promises to bring additional programs. Paper Bag Ladies of Rochester will continue to focus on assisting those who need to work in identifying interpersonal strengths, mental health goals and general wellness and personal stability. We offer a variety of online programs as well as in person programs which include open studio art, farming, hiking, and creative writing. In addition, we have a forest and nature program available for those seeking inner peace and reflection. All programs are of no cost to participants.

Land of Misfit Toys
November 1, 2023 - January 6, 2024
A program where we collect used toys and redistribute to inner-city children in Rochester, NY so they have new adventures.
Crochet Project
September 2023 - Ongoing
This outreach program provides hats, scraves, gloves and socks that are either new or hand-made which are then distributed to persons in need.

Song of Sahara

Written for Sergei on November 13, 2011

Maybe it would have gone from social services, Medicaid, courts, affidavits, testimony, credentials and civil obligations to an easier time to prove someone's allegiance and love.

Today was the day of your conversion. It is a wonderful ceremony but G_D expects your mother to almost do the impossible. To take you into a mikvah and dunk you and leave you in the water without touching you three times. The thought is that the almighty won't let anything happen to you, and that your mother can prove she can let go and let G_D.

This is how I see it may have went thousands of years ago in the dessert. I may have spotted you on the side of the desert, alone or taking cover, simply thrown you into a burlap sack sling and just thought "another one to pick figs for." And continued to walk the desert. Later that night as scripture says, she will take her new child to the water and call him or her, her own. In the company of those in the tribe.

Just like that. Where the secular world and the old world display its obvious differences. Where legitimacy of love and faith is truly recognized as a personal matter, under stars.Because of someone else's temper, caused this potentially dangerous antic.

Maybe it has gone this way thousands of times. Parenthood, motherhood and childhood. I am sure in the Ashkenazi world, there were many mothers saw the challenge of a small child left alone to perish, maybe before a nazi imprisonment or during, where a small child wants a mother to hold her or him. Is there a judge, a lawyer? No. a mother with open arms waiting to share her allotment of food with someone that isn't genetically hers. Maybe post war, plenty of children scooped up by someone else and just moved along, eating a piece of bread, made smaller by their new mother from her mouth.

Welcome to the tribe. Eat your food with pride and joy. Know that you are of something larger than yourself. You are not only my son, but a son of Abraham.