“And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thy gloom be as the noon-day.” Isaiah 58:10 (The Israel Bible™)
On Monday, May 15, communities across the United States will join together in dining at participating kosher restaurants to feed hungry Israelis.
Ten percent of proceeds will go toward funding Meir Panim’s restaurant-style soup kitchens in Israel. Approximately 1.7 million Israelis live in poverty – and 800,000 of them are vulnerable children.
For more than a decade, America Eats for Israel (AEFI) has been a groundbreaking show of solidarity with the needy of Israel. Originally a Baltimore-based initiative led by students of Yeshivat Rambam and then Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, AEFI is now a national event.
“This is a fun way to raise awareness in the U.S. that Israel has an epidemic of disadvantaged people who need our help,” said Danielle Rubin, Project Director for American Friends of Meir Panim, to Breaking Israel News. “We are hoping that this project raises significant funds to help impoverished Israelis.”
Meir Panim’s projects include free restaurants, meals-on-wheels for the homebound, prepaid food shopping cards, school lunch programs, and after-school youth clubs.
Jewish students in multiple U.S. cities have recruited participating restaurants, are working hard to publicize the event, and are excitedly planning to “eat out for Israel” on May 15.
“Since America Eats for Israel began…my family has enthusiastically eaten pizza, shwarma [sliced meat in pita bread], hamburgers, donuts, Chinese food and more happily knowing that 10 percent of what we paid goes towards supporting our people in Israel,” explained Rabbi Sam Wach, Youth Director for the Ner Tamid Youth and Scouts.
“As the day approaches, we can feel the excitement from participating students and community members… I can still picture in my mind the students standing on the road waving at cars to beckon them to share in this worthy mission. It is with great pride that Congregation Ner Tamid Youth and Scouts will be, once again, taking a lead in this project.”
Elie Hirt, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Recruitment at Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA) in New York, told Breaking Israel News that students are excitedly recruiting neighborhood restaurants for the event.
“Americans are often unaware that many Israelis do not know where their next meal is coming from – many people, especially the elderly, must choose between buying medicine or food,” explained Rubin. “America Eats for Israel is a wonderful way to show solidarity with the needy of Israel, simply by eating out at your favorite restaurant.”
Participating schools and groups include Atlantic Seaboard NCSY, Beth El Hebrew School, Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, Krieger Schechter Day School, Ner Tamid Youth and Scouts, and Ohr Chadash Academy in Baltimore; Bruriah High School for Girls, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, and Torah Academy of Bergen County in New Jersey; Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, and Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Long Island; and Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA) in New York City.
For more information on America Eats for Israel, please visit www.americaeatsforisrael.com
To donate to American Friends of Meir Panim, please visit www.meirpanim.org or call 877-736-6283. To mail checks please send to 5316 New Utrecht Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219.