Marta Weisberg works tirelessly, leader says
Marta Weisberg is the recipient of a Standing O award, presented annually by the Observer to citizens involved with the community.
She’s like the Energizer bunny. That’s how Gloria Max, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler Counties, describes volunteer Marta Weisberg.
As social services chairwoman, Weisberg’s main responsibility is to maintain the food inventory for the Jerry Doliner Food Bank, which distributes food to those in need.
Eleven years ago, she started volunteering for the organization, and noticed what they were paying for their food items.
“Let me go out and price shop,” she told Max back then. “I can get things at a better price.”
She now scours the ads and deals with store managers to get the most for the funds they have available, which all comes from donations.
Shopping economically is something she learned long ago. Her husband, a dentist, had to retire early because he lost vision in one eye. Taking care of four children, Weisberg had to get the most from their grocery dollars.
She also had to figure a way to bring in money for the family, so she started a pastry business in 1980, baking for a local caterer and a restaurant near their Ohio home. Her specialties were a cheese cake and a black bottom cake. They later moved to Florida in 1986.
Her baking experience now helps in her volunteer work. She makes as many as 400 cookies for the annual Community-wide Shabbat.
“Her cookies are yummy, they really are,” Max said.
She bakes throughout the year, arranging birthday parties for Max, her husband, Ray, and their assistant. As many as 45 people attend the parties.
“She’s just a really good person,” Max said. “We couldn’t do without her. She’s always there for us.”
Max said Weisberg, 82, is like a mother to many, including people in her neighborhood. She often gives them rides to the doctor, for example.
Weisberg said he believes strongly in the work of the federation, and that God meant for her to be here. She had a stroke at the age 59 and a heart attack at 68.
“God allows me to live for a reason. I hope to keep working,” she said. “I feel fortunate that I’m still functioning.”
Max said the organization could not operate with the contributions of the volunteers, which currently number about 45. They are of all races and religions. Max said there’s a lot of camaraderie and they get along like family.
"She's like our mother watching over us. We couldn’t do without her. She’s always there for us.”
GLORIA MAX, Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler Counties