Especially amidst the pandemic, Meir Purim has fully embraced the Purim spirit. One of the most important aspects of Purim is to take part in all of the customs and traditions:
- Sending baskets of food to friends and family
- Dressing up in costume
- Having a festive meal
For Meir Panim’s clients, fulfilling these holiday traditions can be tricky. On one hand, they are costly, but on the other hand, opting out is embarrassing. Can you imagine a child showing up to a Purim party and being the only one not in costume because their parents couldn’t afford to buy one? Or having a neighbor show up with a beautiful gift basket and not having anything to give them in return?
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. However, for those living near or below the poverty line that is the reality that they struggle with constantly – and during the holidays it is only heightened.
So like every year, Meir Panim launched its annual Purim campaign to make sure everyone could celebrate this joyous holiday with all its traditions.
To get things started, all clients received two baskets of food – one to keep and the other to deliver to a friend. In addition, hundreds of costumes were purchased and delivered to children all over the country.
But in some ways, this year is very different from others.
Meir Panim usually hosts a festive meal at each branch for all of the families in the city to enjoy. This year, with large gatherings banned, the branches shifted gears and turned to the Meals-on-Wheels program to prepare, package and deliver homemade holiday feasts for each family to enjoy on their own.
Meanwhile, in Or Akiva, a special initiative was launched by the branch manager, Ilanit and her staff. Besides the Purim gift baskets for the needy, they packaged and delivered an additional 70 gift baskets to send to children who were ill with COVID-19.
With Purim marking almost exactly a year since the novel Coronavirus broke out in Israel, it is moving to know that brighter times are around the corner and that the country’s impoverished are still able to celebrate the holiday with lots of joy.