Every Jewish mother wishes they could have a new house for Pesach, in order to minimize the amount of cleaning needed. Ofra, a woman from Dimona in Southern Israel, will see this dream become her reality, thanks to Meir Panim. After living in squalid conditions, the single mother and her five children will have a remodeled, freshly painted home, free of mold and leaks, with functional bathrooms and even new furniture.
This is just one of Meir Panim’s latest Pesach initiatives. As Israel’s premier poverty relief organization, Meir Panim has unveiled new programs to give aid and dignity to impoverished Israelis this Pesach. These are in addition to the regular programing and include a home renovations program, take-home seder meals and clothing gift cards for women.
“We are thrilled to be able to expand our reach, thanks to gifts from generous donors who have teamed up with us to provide support and warmth to thousands of families in need,” said David Roth, president of American Friends of Meir Panim. “Our programs, both new and old, aim to provide aid in unique ways, by empowering those who struggle and helping them feel their burdens eased. This is why we provide hot meals, food packages, gift cards, home renovations and clothing. We want everyone in Israel to enjoy the holidays as much as possible.”
This Pesach, Meir Panim will host 700 people in its public seders and hundreds of children will enjoy activities at the after-school clubs. With the help of social workers, the organization will distribute 2,000 pre-paid food cards to families to assist them in purchasing groceries for the holiday. An additional 1,000 food packages, packed with produce, frozen foods, juices and snacks, will be sent to families in need.
In another initiative, single mothers received vouchers worth $200-$300 at upscale clothing retail stores. The vouchers were distributed to the most needy with special instructions: that the money could only be spent on clothing for themselves. Meir Panim workers have heard wonderful feedback from these women, who feel reenergized and special. Meir Panim branches also are giving away new and gently used clothing to locals. In addition, several families, like Ofra’s, got a bigger treat: a remodeled home in time for Pesach. This project is dedicated to families living in intolerable conditions and is organized by local Meir Panim volunteers.
Also in Dimona, the Municipality and local residents are a hosting fundraising event to benefit Meir Panim. Celebrities, local VIPs and political figures have signed on to participate. Over 600 people are expected to attend.
All of Meir Panim’s programs are open to Israelis of all backgrounds, with the goal of alleviating the burdens of poverty and “lighting up the faces” of those in need. Since 2000, Meir Panim has served over 3 million free meals and provided countless other services to Israel’s impoverished population.
To contribute to the Pesach campaign, click here