As we approach Rosh Hashana, we enter a period of self-reflection, assessing our actions, goals and needs. It is period of introspection and prayer as we begin a new year in our spiritual lives.
At this time, thousands of impoverished Israeli families are praying for relief and support. A staggering 1.65 million Israelis live in poverty, according to Israel’s National Insurance Institute’s most recent report. More than one-third of those living in poverty are children. These families are in dire need for services and aid to ease the burdens they face.
In a customized holiday program, Meir Panim provides approximately 2,000 families with grocery shopping cards. These debit cards are loaded with 250 shekels and are awarded to needy individuals and families to use at major Israeli supermarket chains to purchase food and household items. The cards are programmed with technology that tracks purchases, blocking their use for alcohol or cigarettes, but still granting recipients the flexibility to customize their purchases.
“These cards are truly a gift, giving needy families a chance to celebrate Rosh Hashana with peace of mind to shop for the holiday and enjoy the festivities with goods that they really need,” said David Roth, president of American Friends of Meir Panim. “This support gives dignity and respect, empowering families to feel special at holiday time.”
Mali, a single mother of three small children, tells of how this card helped her get through Rosh Hashana. Counting each coin during the year and running her household on a small budget while working full time as a grocery store cashier, Mali admits she could not get through the holidays without Meir Panim. “The extra money I receive to prepare for Rosh Hashana helps me start off the year optimistic so that I enjoy the holiday,” she said. “It is extremely helpful and I am so grateful!”
Many thanks to all that contributed to Meir Panim’s holiday campaign.