Passover is observed through maintaining strong family traditions and strict dietary laws. However, struggling Israelis can find the holiday prohibitive to celebrate. One organization comes to their rescue.
The Bible states (Exodus 12:17) that the week-long festive holiday of Passover (March 30-April 7), which commemorates the redemption of the ancient Israelites from Egyptian slavery, must be observed from time immemorial. However, observing the Passover holiday properly, which includes strict dietary laws, a festive opening meal (seder) and various other traditions that require additional expenses, can be prohibitive for many of Israel’s struggling families.
Therefore, charity organizations move into full speed to help people celebrate the holiday in dignity.
“All year round, Colel Chabad provides daily hot meals and food packages to many thousands of struggling individuals and families throughout Israel,” explained Rabbi Shmuel Lipsker, administrator for Colel Chabad, a charity organization working in the Holy Land since 1788.
“However, our organization works particularly hard before and during Passover to ensure that impoverished Israelis can celebrate Passover in the way God intended.”
For Passover alone, Colel Chabad will:
● Identify and distribute to 14,800 poor, needy and dysfunctional families prepaid shopping cards valuing between $145-$230 to purchase food in local supermarkets and help cover Passover expenses.
● Give 850 widows $285 and/or crates of food and supplies.
● Deliver crates of food and supplies to the homes of 4,000 Holocaust survivors, elderly and homebound who are unable to shop independently but are capable of cooking their own meals.
● Deliver 1,500 freshly cooked Meals on Wheels directly to the homes of Holocaust survivors, elderly, and homebound, who are unable to shop, cook and prepare meals for themselves.
● Give 2,500 children’s clothes shopping vouchers in order that young people can purchase a new pair of shoes, suit or dress. These vouchers make an enormous difference to a poor child’s holiday joy and self-confidence.
● Hold 22,000 public festive Passover meals (seders), since many people do not have family, are single-parent families who do not want to be alone, or lack religious knowledge in order to run their own seder. Many simply cannot afford the meal.
● Transform 24 kosher-for-Passover Colel Chabad soup kitchens, located throughout Israel, in order that their 3,100 daily patrons will continue to have a hot, nutritious meal during the holiday.
“Practically all of Colel Chabad’s recipients are personally known to our staff, as they receive help from us all year round,” noted Rabbi Lipsker.
“However, the needs expand for Passover due to the holiday’s costly food requirements and the extras that Colel Chabad provides in order to help those who also deserve to feel the joy of Passover.”
Colel Chabad allocates over $3.5 million dollars from generous donations made worldwide to ensure that every Jew has a proper Passover.
“It says in the Passover haggadah [the book read at the seder meal that tells the story of the Israelites’ miraculous redemption from slavery in ancient Egypt to freedom], ‘All who are hungry, come and eat. All who are needy, come and celebrate Passover,’” explained Rabbi Lipsker.
“How can we sit at our meal on Passover eve and read these holy words without knowing that we have done all we can to ensure that everyone has food to eat for the holiday?”
Donations to Colel Chabad for Passover are still graciously accepted. Please visit here.