Gift baskets this Purim - some sweet, some politically pointed

The season of 'Mishloah Manot' - a fundamental component of celebrations mentioned in Megillat Esther.

mishloach manot 88 (photo credit: )
mishloach manot 88
(photo credit: )
'Tis the season of Mishloah Manot - the giving of a food basket to friends and those in need - a fundamental component of Purim celebrations that is mentioned in Megillat Esther. And this year, the gift baskets are flying thick and fast - some of them sweet, some of them politically pointed. First year students at the Sami Shamoon Engineering College organized Mishloah Manot from first graders at the Ramot School in Beersheba to their counterparts at the Alon School and AMIT religious scientific school in Sderot. The students talked to the youngsters about the situation for the communities around Gaza and then helped them make up the gift baskets and accompanying personal notes. The students then distributed the goodies in Sderot. AMIT, a national religious school network, offered Jews from abroad the chance to give Mishloah Manot in Israel. Mishloah Manot could be purchased and then delivered to Sderot. The AMIT network in Sderot consists of six schools and programs enrolling almost 2,000 children from kindergarten through post high school. Sderot has endured practically daily rocket attacks from Gaza for the past seven years. Pupils in Sderot learn in reinforced classrooms and dash from mini-shelter to mini-shelter to avoid being caught out in the open when a Kassam falls. Meanwhile, the Coordinating Forum of Junior Academic Staff Associations in Israel sent Mishloah Manot packages to the university administrations on Thursday calling on them to resume dialogue and negotiations and prevent a potential strike which would derail the second semester. The junior faculty are demanding better work conditions for themselves and external lecturers, who make up 60 percent of the teaching staff at the country's universities. According to the junior faculty, the government has come up with an acceptable mechanism for resolving the situation, but the Committee of University Presidents refuses to discuss it.