Rosh Hashana and the rest of the holiday season brings a festive atmosphere and excitement. A lot of feeding and getting fed is expected in this time of year. Thankfully, most of us are blessed to have the opportunity to look forward to something as basic as a meal. Unfortunately, for some families, holiday preparations are a matter of luxury. The holiday season is a peak time for charity organizations with the mission to provide holiday food baskets for families in need. Though there are many wonderful organizations that contribute to Israel’s poor, we selected just a few to show how “Kol Yisrael Arevim zeh ba-zeh” or “All Israel are responsible for one another”.
Pitchon Lev is an apolitical non-profit organization that helps 250,000 people living in poverty across Israel. It fulfills a variety of needs in both basic every-day necessities and a variety of services, like: food, clothing, baby products, home products, legal advice, educational activities, and medical consultation. Its mission is to help Israelis who live in poverty to break through the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The also keep personal connections with their recipients to provide personalized care to create a safe space for those who need it.
Chasdei Naomi began in 1984 by Yosef Cohen who noticed many kids would show up to school without basic supplies, such as food, proper clothing, or just a simple smile. So he, anonymously, started delivering food and other necessities to those in need. Now his organization has over 20,000 volunteers and about 40 points of delivery throughout the country. Chasdei Naomi works with corporations and service providers that are dedicated to providing food and other basic needs for 10,000 families across Israel. These necessities are sent to their homes through currier deliveries rather than volunteers to avoid a feeling of shame and embarrassment of their situation.
Leket Israel is the leading food resource organization and national food bank. Its main job is to “rescue” a surplus of healthy food and delivers it to over 200 charity organization for distribution. Leket works with its partnering organizations, providing tons of fruits and vegetables from farmers’ fields and packing houses. Well over 2 million cooked meals are also collected from catering halls, hotels, hi-tech company cafeterias, events, and Israel security and military bases, etc. Food is distributed amongst community help organizations, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, elderly centers, battered women’s centers, and schools for at-risk youth. 175,000 Israelis, regardless of age, gender, religion, or ethnic background are fed every week.
Latet is a charity organization that’s been around since 2007, providing support to impoverished families and individuals in Israel. Their work with Holocaust survivors, reduce nutritional risk among families and individuals living in severe poverty, at-risk youth organization, and develops social entrepreneurship amongst the young community. Latet also rescues edible food intended for disposal for families in need, as well as raise awareness of poverty in various municipalities in Israel. Latet’s vision is to reduce poverty and instill the value of mutual responsibility in the Israeli society that will lead to a change in national priorities.
Yad Eliezer started in 1980 at the private kitchen of the Weisel family in Jerusalem. There they prepared food baskets for families in need. Today, with 12,000 volunteers, thousands of families are able to get a monthly support of food and basic needs to help their every day. During the holidays, however, there is a necessity for an expanded amount of products. Yad Eliezer provides an expanded customized package for each family based on the number of family members and their needs. Thanks to their training programs and assistance, many families who used to get assistance from the organization are now some of its greatest contributors.
What other types of Israeli activism would you like to hear about? comment below in the comment!
Wishing a happy Rosh Hashana and a new sweet year to us all!