8 Ways to Show Israelis You Care, Purim Style
By Israel Forever
Purim is a special time in the Jewish calendar. It is a is time of celebration, joy, costumes and for some drinking too much. But it is also about the mitzvah of giving to others, giving back and increasing joy for our fellow Jew.
The mitzvah of giving mishloach manot derives from the Book of Esther. It is meant to ensure that everyone has enough food for the Purim feast held later in the day, and to increase love and friendship among Jews as a counter to Haman's assertion that the Jewish people are characterized by strife and disunity.
So today, thousands of years later, we still want to unify as Jews all over the world, and show Israelis we care. For Purim, Israel Forever would like to share with you, ways of giving a mishloach manot that can benefit the people of Israel, give back, and serve as a unique way of sharing our love, happiness and future together.
According to the Rambam: “gifts for the poor deserve more attention than the festive meal & gifts for friends because there is no greater, richer happiness than bringing joy to the hearts of needy people, orphans, widows and proselytes.”
Not just about sweet treats, these baskets are full of strength, unity and charity!
Check out this year’s featured favorite ways of giving Mishloach Manot for Purim.
1. YAD EZRA V’SHULAMIT: Bring Purim Joy to Orphans and Widows This Year
Organization: Yad Ezra V’Shulamit addresses the needs of impoverished families, regardless of religious affiliation, ethnicity, age, and location of residence.We distribute 3,000 food baskets every week, and 15,000 more during holiday seasons.The children who attend Yad Ezra V’Shulamit Children’s Centers are provided with a nutritious meal, academic tutoring, and an enriching social environment.
Mishloach Manot: Purim is hard for poor children. It's painful to watch their friends have fun with bags full of treats, while they just wish for a simple meal at home to fill their empty stomachs. Yad Ezra V'Shulamit provides needy families with a food basket filled with groceries including grape juice, chicken, challah, fruits and vegetables. Help us to ensure no child in Israel is hungry on Purim.
This year, Yad Ezra is organizing a special Purim for widows and orphans. Your donation will ensure these families experience true Purim joy with Mishloach Manot, a banquet, food vouchers, and more. You can also choose to give your donation as Matanot Le’Evyonim, to be distributed as cash to needy individuals on Purim itself.
2. AMERICAN ZIONIST MOVEMENT: Mishloach Manot to Corona Frontline Workers and Soldiers throughout Israel
Organization: The American Zionist Movement (AZM) is comprised of 27 national Jewish Zionist organizations and works across a broad ideological, political and religious spectrum linking the American Jewish community together in support of Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people. For nearly 30 years the “Purim Connection” program of the American Zionist Movement (AZM) has helped maintain our personal ties to the people and land of Israel by providing Mishloach Manot packages to those living in Eretz Yisrael.
Mishloach Manot: This year AZM’s Purim Connection is providing Mishloach Manot to frontline responders to the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel. This will bring some holiday joy and, in a small way, thank them for their service maintaining the health and wellbeing of all Israelis. The packages will be distributed by our partners in Israel, to both healthcare workers and to soldiers in the IDF Homefront Command and other units protecting the country. Please show your thanks for these guardians of Israel, carrying on an important tradition and fulfilling an important mitzvah.
A single Purim basket costs $18. We hope you will consider a gift of at least $180, so we can provide as many as possible. Every contribution will help a frontline worker and soldier to feel supported by the Diaspora.
3. TORAT REVA: Supporting elderly people in Jerusalem.
Organization: Torat Reva Yerushalayim provides Torah study groups for the elderly residents of southern Jerusalem in nursing homes, senior centers and assisted living communities. Along with their classes, they publish a weekly Dvar Torah available on the web or via email called Parsha Points, have special events in the Jerusalem area and offer a unique Bat-Mitzvah Program for women of all ages.
Mishloach Manot: Torat Reva Yerushalayim will hand deliver packages to the neglected elderly of Jerusalem, for many the only gifts they will receive. The packages will include healthy snacks, gifts and Purim treats. The goal: to prepare at least 300 packages, and bring them to six different nursing homes!
A donation of $18 covers one package, $180 covers packages for an entire floor of a nursing home. And for $54, you can send a Mishloach Manot basket to soldiers protecting Jerusalem.
4. LEKET ISRAEL: Support needy families by salvaging unused food.
Organization: Founded in 2003, Leket Israel serves as the country's largest food bank and food rescue network actively working to alleviate the problem of nutritional insecurity among Israel's diverse population. Statistics reveal that a quarter of Israel’s 7.7 million citizens (1.9 million people) are living in poverty; among them are some 850,000 hungry children. Leket Israel serves all population groups at-risk in Israel regardless of gender, ethnic background, or religion.
Mishloach Manot: This Purim, help Leket Israel salvage food for Israel's poor and send Purim greetings. With the Purim joy clearly marked in what they call their, “funny looking fruit,” they want you to know that besides a good laugh you can rescue these nutritious items and give them back to those that need it here in Israel. For just $1 you can save 10 pounds of food - all you have to do is give.
Leket is also selling printed and e-cards for Purim, that you can send to and share with your loved ones while helping their amazing cause
5. YAD ELIEZER: Providing primary economic and social service programs to at risk families.
Organization: Yad Eliezer began in 1980, in the kitchen of the Weisel family of Jerusalem. They prepared a food basket for a neighbor who could not feed her children. Soon, they were delivering monthly food baskets to hungry families. Yad Eliezer has now grown to encompass nineteen primary economic and social service programs that impact tens of thousands of individuals. Yad Eliezer is one of Israel's Largest Poverty Relief Agencies whose mandate is to help families cope with financial difficulties and empower them to break the cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency. We Make a Difference. So Can You.
Mishloach Manot: Purim is fast approaching and most families are making plans for sumptuous meals. Yet in Israel, thousands will open their refrigerators on Purim to find the shelves empty just like on every other day. Yad Eliezer believes that every Jew deserves to celebrate Purim with joy. You can buy mishloach manot cards online starting from just $3, while helping bring a proper Purim seudah to families throughout Israel..
6. THE ZDAKA CENTER: Supporting local Jewish causes through Matanot L’evyonim.
Organization: Zdaka Center is exclusively online Tzedakah web site. We offer the opportunity to contribute to important Jewish causes and charities in Israel from the comfort of your own home.
Matanot l’Evyonim: This year, Zdaka center will be distributing the Matanot l'Evyonim (gifts to the poor) to needy families out of Jerusalem on Purim and in Jerusalem on Shushan Purim (as Jerusalem uniquely celebrates Shushan Purim) so any donation, no matter what the size, would be greatly appreciated. A generous donation of $18 will sponsor one decent Purim meal.
7. AV ISRAEL: Providing services and support for hearing impaired children.
Organisation: Established in 1994, AV Israel is one of the leading organisation in Israel supporting babies and children with hearing loss. Located all over the country AV Israel provides a range of hearing and speech services to support children and their families.
Mishloach Manot: Purchase Purim cards, digital or printed, from AV Israel to give to your friends and family. The money raised will go towards increasing AV Israel services and you will be helping spread the message about this incredible organization.
Please note: AV Israel’s site is in Hebrew.
8. PANTRY PACKERS: Supporting families living in poverty.
Organization: Pantry Packers® is the food distribution arm of Tzedakah Central/Colel Chabad the oldest continuously operating network of social services in Israel – established in 1788. Every month Pantry Packers® delivers crates containing all the necessary foods and household maintenance supplies to Israel’s poorest families and senior citizens.
Every recipient is screened and selected on a non-discriminatory basis by the social services departments of local municipalities without regard to gender, ethnic background, or degree of religious observance. Pantry Packers® maintains a packing plant in Jerusalem where visitors and tourists may partner in its efforts by helping pack food staples which are then included in the Pantry Packers crates.
Matanot Le’Evyonim: Pantry Packers makes sure that needy families and senior citizens get the food they need, whether by delivery or at one of their 22 soup kitchens across Israel. Your donation will enable some of Israel’s poorest to eat a nutritional meal.