Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Community Service in Israel

The best charities are those that are run by people who have some life experience with the charities they run.  Such is the case with Hazon Yeshaya, a soup kitchen and much, much more in Israel.  Founded by Abraham Israel, a man who grew up poor after being expelled from Egypt.  The family moved to France for three years and he spent his youth having to rely on Paris soup kitchens in order to survive.  They family eventually made it to the US and Mr. Israel eventually made aliyah with his wife and seven children.

One day, he stumbled upon a woman in Israel who was starving.  Drawing on his personal experience and compassion, he fed her and started with his own funds a soup kitchen to feel a mere 17 persons.  From this grew the current operation which feeds over 400,000 people including 70% of whom are children.  Mr. Israel draws no salary, compensation or bonuses.  I am serious.

Hazon Yeshaya offers more than just food services.  They offer dental care, vocational services, bar and bat mitzvah celebrations for orphans, school lunch distribution to students with no lunches or who have been identified as not having enough food for lunch, food and holiday meal packages delivered to needy Holocaust survivors, and a food and clothing salvage operation.  Whew!  Unbelievable!

Wait!  You don't even know the best part.  Well, maybe not the best part but the part that struck me. The part that made me even more proud than I already was.  The food prepared for the school lunch distribution is FRESH!  No canned, unhealthy, processed crap.  Healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, and good old homemade Middle Eastern food!

We split into two groups and then switched half way through.  One group cut tomatoes, peeled potatoes, and sliced potatoes.  Over and over and over.  The other group sorted tomatoes: good and usable tomatoes in the blue crates and bruised or spoiled tomatoes in the cardboard boxes.  It was a wonderful project with which to be involved.    Note that when you see the purple rubber bracelet on my wrist, it indicates that I volunteered there.

Please consider donating to this organization:  Learn More and Donate Here

Out of respect for those who use the building for services, no pictures were taken.

No comments: