In a year where the world has been flipped upside down and spun like a dreidel, it’s certainly nice to be at the end of it, celebrating Chanukah! One major theme of the holiday is that even in the darkest of times, there is always light. That has certainly been true for the world as the holiday coincided with the release of the first COVID-19 vaccines. At Meir Panim, we have also been able to create light amidst the darkness this Chanukah, as we helped needy individuals across Israel celebrate during this special time of year.
In Meir Panim’s Or Akiva branch, a very special Chanukah gift was sent to a teen battling cancer. Because he is immunocompromised, he cannot leave his home and risk contracting COVID. Therefore, Meir Panim’s team sent the young man a brand new laptop so he could stay connected to his school and the world while alone at home. They even added some delicious home-made sfinge (a Morrocan style donut), made by our beloved volunteer “Savta Malka” so that he could enjoy a sweet holiday treat!
In Jerusalem, the Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen is still closed for indoor dining, but that didn’t stop our volunteers from decorating the space with festive decorations to be enjoyed by our clients who visit the branch to pick up their food! It was a beautiful sight that lifted everyone’s spirit.
Meir Panim also received a very special donation from the international law firm, DLA Piper, which allowed us to distribute traditional jelly donuts to all our patrons to enjoy in addition to the holiday meals provided by Meir Panim.
And last but not least, teens from our Ben Gurion Neighborhood Youth Center in Sderot stayed busy during their vacation by giving back. During the day, they worked in tandem with JNF to clean up local parks and in the evening, they visited local senior citizens to light the Menorah and sing Chanukah songs! Since the start of COVID-19, these teens have been truly inspirational in their dedication to helping out the community.
It is truly special to be a part of the Meir Panim family this time of year when there is so much joy and happiness being spread to the needy in Israel.