This Israeli organization brings food, medicine and other basic needs to the elderly during the coronavirus crisis using a system it wants other communities to replicate.
The Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics and Community Development successfully organized a network of volunteers to deliver food and essential items for elderly and other home-bound Israelis in the centrally-located Israeli city of Modiin. The effort is in conjunction with the municipality during the coronavirus epidemic.
“Captains” are chosen by the organization’s rabbis and other members who set up neighborhood WhatsApp groups in the city’s 13 neighborhoods to mobilize volunteers and communicate with those in need.
Thus far, more than 250 volunteers help cook and deliver meals and other essentials to the elderly and infirm three times a week. Each package has enough hot and healthy meals to last for two days. The volunteers also bring food from supermarkets to hundreds of residents in the city unable to shop for themselves.
While making deliveries, the volunteers check on the status of the recipients and inquire about other pressing needs. Modiin’s Municipality and Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services updates their national database with the information to keep track of elderly home-bound residents.
“Our community-building model has meant that we were ready to step in and create networks to ensure those in need receive the food and other necessities they so badly need during the coronavirus crisis,” commented Rabbi David Fine, Barkai,’s founder. “We see that this model can be replicated in cities and towns across Israel in a speedy and smooth manner, so the elderly and other home-bound Israelis receive what they so desperately require during this difficult time.”
“We deeply appreciate the networks and food distribution model created by the Barkai team and we recommend and encourage other municipalities to copy them,” Deputy Mayor of Modiin Amiad Taub said.
Barkei is an organization dedicated to building Israeli society one community at a time by successfully bringing Diaspora models of community building to Israel.