charity drive 248.88 courtesy.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Fancy a bite to eat and a night out in Ra'anana today? It's very likely that one of the restaurants or cafÃ©s that you choose for a spot of entertainment will be participating in a unique charity drive organized by seven English-speaking immigrants who fund-raise for humanitarian aid network Hazon Yeshaya.
According to former New Yorker Rachel Jacoby, 21 local eateries will donate 10 percent of their gross sales today from 4 p.m. to Hazon Yeshaya, which runs a large number of soup kitchens and food distribution centers across the country for poverty-stricken Israelis.
"We all feel that we are very lucky to be in a position to help others less fortunate than ourselves," Jacoby told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. "We all come from communities in the US where hessed [acts of kindness] was a central part of our lives."
The decision to raise the funds for Hazon Yeshaya came after the group of women, all mothers and immigrants to Israel from the US within the last six years, met with the organization's founder and chairman, Abraham Israel.
"It breaks my heart that there are people going hungry in this country," explained Jacoby, who recently had her fourth child. "I feel that it is our responsibility to do what we can to help others."
She said that the seven women, some who were friends in their former place of residence, Florida, and others who met the group here, decided over a year ago that they wanted to volunteer for their community by organizing fundraising events for local charities.
"We heard about the restaurant fundraiser idea because a similar scheme took place in the US last year, organized by Jewish charities," said Jacoby. "We thought it was an innovative idea to raise money without having to ask people to donate directly."
The fundraiser in the US utilized 80 kosher restaurants. Jacoby and friends have garnered the support of 21 businesses in Ra'anana.
"We think that is pretty good considering the size difference," she said, highlighting that almost all the cafes and restaurants approached by the group were willing to become part of the event.
Among those participating are chains such as Aroma and CafÃ© Netto, as well as several local eateries. The Ra'anana Municipality has also shown support for the event, helping the women to advertise it in the local press and on its Web site.
"We see it as a way to bring our community together and a chance to help both charitable causes and local businesses," said Jacoby, adding that next year the group hopes to widen its scope of activities to include nearby Tel Aviv food outlets.