The flour of youth

Students and community activists in Lod distribute 300 packages of food to needy families for Passover.

Supermarket shopping cart groceries food jeans 390 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Supermarket shopping cart groceries food jeans 390
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Jewish communities in Lod working with the Mibereshit educational organization have in recent days carried out Operation Kimcha D’Pischa, a food distribution effort ahead of the Passover holiday, in which they have distributed 300 food packages to needy families across the city.
Kimcha D’Pischa, literally “flour for Passover,” is an ancient Jewish custom for giving charity before Passover, first mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud, whereby flour was distributed to the poor in order that they would have enough to bake matzot throughout the festival.
Food and other charitable donations have since replaced the Talmudic-era distribution of flour.
The operation, which started several days ago, began with a fundraising drive for the packages, each of which contained NIS 250 worth of different food products.
In order to raise the requisite funds for their charity drive, Mibereshit – which works towards Jewish social cohesion – handed out at fliers at city schools advertising the project, while pupils went door-to-door with fundraising vouchers to amass as many donations as possible. Total contributions amounted to tens of thousands of shekels.
The logistical side of the operation, packing and distributing the 300 food parcels, was carried out with martial discipline from the operation’s headquarters at the Harel School campus in Lod, by soldiers, students, parents of the schoolchildren, National Service and prearmy community volunteers, along with children and youth activists from the Mibereshit organization.
“This is a fantastic educational and social justice project, which has benefited disadvantaged city residents as well as providing an important educational experience for those who have participated,” said Benny Strauss, director of the Mibereshit chapter in Lod.
“It is also unique, with entire the school communities, involving parents and children, joining forces to act for the sake of the community.”
Education officials and principals from various schools in the city compiled the list of needy families who received the packages, Mibereshit said.
“There is no doubt that these activities will have a lasting effect on charitable values and family ties, said Icky Mendelssohn, Mibereshit’s educational director.
“These kind of events have a great influence on children and we hope that through them we can instill the values of communal responsibility and togetherness.”