Not just a Purim Priority: Giving needs to be an every day event
On Purim we don’t only celebrate our victory over annihilation we are also reminded to regard every member of Israel as family and worthy of our attention.
By ARYEH LURIEPublished: FEBRUARY 28, 2018 16:26Advertisement
In every society there’s a need for charitable giving. No matter how industrious or innovative a place, someone will be in need, and prioritizing donations, taking care of the needy and helping the impoverished is a mark of that society’s generosity and humanity.On Purim, the holiday where Esther and Mordechai vanquished Haman and Jews celebrated with acts of goodwill, cheer and charity towards one another, it is mandatory to hand out gifts of food in spirit of the holiday. Each mishloach manot is meant to be equipped with the things that could potentially build a celebratory meal. While this sharing food makes an annual appearance in Jewish communities, Yad Ezra VShulamit works tirelessly to fulfill this need every day. Yad Ezra V’Shulamit was built on the principle that no child in Israel should go without food. It works to remedy poverty stricken communities. Together with a thousand selfless volunteers, we make sure that 3,000 food baskets are assembled and distributed to thirty cities across the nation every week.On Wednesday morning fruits, vegetables and all manner of produce are brought to the main distribution point where volunteers begin to separate the food and assemble the parcels. Each volunteer is usually waiting, gloved and ready to begin. By Thursday, each package has been delivered to distribution points across the country, to be picked up by poor families. For those needy families who cannot make it to the distribution point, parcels are delivered to their door. This is a weekly ritual for the organizers and dedicated volunteers who work at Yad Ezra V’Shulamit.I used to watch my mother salvage discarded cucumbers from the trash bins outside of the outdoor markets. She did this in order to provide lunch for her and my brothers and sisters. We are therefore committed to ensuring no child in Israel grows up without a plate of food, clothing and a warm blanket.Yad Ezra V’Shulamit continuously acts in the spirit of charity and social responsibility. Not only does it distribute 3, 000 food baskets every week it aims to improve lives in every way. In addition to the weekly basket distribution, twenty-three thousand baskets are handed on Passover and Rosh Hashanah.The organization also runs two children’s centers for needy youth. The centers function as a haven for young children, a place for them to receive a warm meal in an environment of safety and hope. 200 children benefit from these centers, entering through the doors and receiving hot meals, educational support, as well as the chance to play games and take part in activities. These children are proven to exhibit an increase in mental wellness as well as an improvement in their studies. Children are also given parcels of food to take home with them as they leave to help feed their siblings who did not accompany them, siblings who would otherwise have had to face the cold reality of an empty fridge.On Purim we don’t only celebrate our victory over annihilation we are also reminded to regard every member of Israel as family and worthy of our attention. Purim may act a springboard to this act of generosity, encouraging us to provide a meal so people can perform the Seudah. Let us make it our imperative, along Yad Ezra V’Shulamit, to ensure that every person in Israel has access to a hot meal and hopeful tomorrow.Help Yad Ezra V’Shulamit feed more Israeli families
The author is the founder of Yad Ezra V'Shulamit. He grew up in poverty in Israel and is determined to do something to make sure no Jewish child would go hungry. Founded in 1988, Yad Ezra V'Shulamit was launched when he began to give 50 food baskets out each week. Thirty years later, the organization, endorsed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, gives out 3,500 baskets a week, feeding hundreds of children a hot meal every day .
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