“If, however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kinsmen in any of your settlements in the land that Hashem your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman.” Deuteronomy 15:7 (The Israel Bible™)
Simcha* is a 36-year-old Jerusalem mother who struggles.
Even though Simcha lives frugally, her benefits have never been enough.
“I left an abusive and neglectful husband to try to start a new life with my four children aged eight and under, one with special needs,” Simcha tells Breaking Israel News. “I had little in the way of prior work experience given I’d married and had my children young. I felt pressured to find work and I tried, though it was near impossible.”
Simcha got a job as a cleaning lady at an area preschool. But the work is hourly and when the school is closed, she does not get paid. During Passover, when schools are closed for her children, too, Simcha’s kids are left slaves to hunger – on a holiday that is supposed to celebrate Jewish freedom.
Meir Panim, which runs one of Israel’s largest network of restaurant-style soup kitchens, is taking action this Passover to help families like Simcha’s.
Passover starts tonight, and the organization is still actively distributing hundreds of boxes filled with matzah, fish, chicken, vegetables and other Passover essentials. The food will be used during the Passover seder tonight, but also throughout the holiday.
It’s prepaid shopping cards are enabling hundreds of families to purchase the food they need when times are tight, like on Passover.
“We understand that many of Israel’s poorest people become increasingly poor on Passover, when hourly wages are decreased with vacation,” explains Goldie Sternbuch, director of overseas relations for Meir Panim. “This holiday – and all year round – we make it our mission to fight poverty in Israel.”
Meir Panim is calling on the community to join this mission. To make a donation to the Meir Panim Passover campaign, click here >>
This Passover, help feed simcha – and all the mothers and children of Israel.
*Name changed out of respect for the needy.
This article was written in cooperation with Meir Panim.