8 Ways to Show Israelis You Care, Purim Style

Tags: Causes, Purim, Holidays

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: Feeding Israel’s Hungry Children and Families.

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.

2. 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.

Mischloach Manot: Send a mishloach manot to those stricken by poverty in Israel and honor your friends and family with a card delivered to their home informing them of this contribution. Honor your friends and colleagues with a card delivered straight to their home. You can buy a pack of six cards for $18 or buy even more (why not).

3. AMERICAN ZIONIST MOVEMENT: Mishloach Manot to soldiers and border police.

Organization: The American Zionist Movement (AZM) is comprised of 25 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 and protecting Eretz Yisrael.

Mishloach Manot: This year, in partnership with Israel Forever Foundation, Yad Esra V’Shulamith, Yashar L’Chayal and AMIT AZM’s Purim Connection will provide Mishloach Manot to members of the Israel Border Patrol (מִשְׁמַר הַגְּבוּל) - the brave women and men who guard the State of Israel and are often the first line of defense against urban and cross-border terrorism. AZM will also will enable some of the impoverished children and families in Israel to have greater joy on Purim when they receive a gift basket.

Every contribution will help a Border Patrol officer or needy family feel supported. You can include a personal message that will be delivered with the basket by our network in Israel.

4. 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 130 packages! A donation of $18 covers one package, $180 covers packages for an entire floor of a nursing home.

5. 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. Yet, at the same time, literally hundreds of thousands of tons of perfectly good, nutritious food are needlessly destroyed each year.

As an umbrella organization, Leket Israel also work's to assist at-risk population groups and the NPOs who serve them through nutrition education, capacity building, and food safety projects designed to improve professional operating standards. 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. From a simple e-card to a printed version, for just $1 you can save 10 pounds of food. Now it is just up to you how much you want to give.

6. 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. We Make a Difference. So Can You.

Yad Eliezer's mandate is to help families cope with financial difficulties and empower them to break the cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency. Thanks to our job training program and other forms of assistance, many families who were recipients of Yad Eliezer's food programs are now donors to Yad Eliezer.

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 on line $3/1 card, $25/10 cards, $50/20 cards, $108/50 cards.

7. 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 (2018 - 5778), Zdaka center will be distribute the Matanot l'Evyonim (gifts to the poor) to needy families out of Jerusalem (Thursday, 1 March, 2018) and in Jerusalem on Purim (Friday, 2 March, 2018) so any donation, no matter what the size would be greatly appreciated. A generous donation of $18 will sponsor one decent meal of Purim.

8. 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 Mishloach Manot 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. Package come prepared to your home (all treats are strictly kosher and gluten free). 15 NIS/package up to 30 packages, 12 NIS/package up to 350 packages, 10 NIS/package for 351+

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Tags: Causes, Purim, Holidays