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Project Spotlight: Restoring a Fire-Damaged Soup Kitchen

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Fellowship-supported Ohr HaPardes Soup Kitchen is located in a needy neighborhood in Pardes Hana, Israel. It is frequented by impoverished Holocaust survivors and other elderly who wouldn’t have a hot meal otherwise. Many of the meals are distributed directly to the homes of needy families.

Just before Passover 2014, the soup kitchen was destroyed in a suspected arson fire. Yet, miraculously, damages were minimized when flames from gas canisters in the kitchen appear to have melted the water pipe, spraying water over the main part of the fire and the gas canisters. This probably prevented a much larger disaster.

However, the fire burned all of the food in the room and damaged the refrigerator, stove, and electrical, shutting down the center and making it unusable. In the meantime, the meals were prepared in a local synagogue, but the staff were only able to prepare about 80 percent of the usual amount of food for its daily clients.

Thankfully, generous Fellowship donors paid for the renovation of the facility, and Ohr HaPardes Soup Kitchen has been returned to full functioning order. It is once again serving the many needs of those in the neighborhood – such as Yemima.

Feeding Bodies and Souls

Yemima, a 35-year-old single mother in Pardes Chana, is raising her three children on a meager salary of $900 a month. Yemima does not receive any money from the government and is committed to working hard for her income, yet too often she is forced to decide between buying food for Shabbat (Sabbath) or paying the electric bill.

Since she began receiving weekly food packages from Fellowship partner Ohr HaPardes, Yemima’s children have had food to eat every Shabbat without fearing that their electricity will be shut off. “There are not enough words to say thank you,” Yemima says. “To have food and electricity is not a given, and my children and I are blessed with both because of The Fellowship.”

Yemima explains, “Each Shabbat we receive food from The Fellowship, and I use it to teach my children that they receive but they also need to give. On Thursdays, we volunteer to help pack the Fellowship food boxes and deliver them to elderly in the neighborhood. I want my children to learn the value of working, volunteering, and appreciation while they’re young.”

Despite the difficult reality of raising three children on her own and struggling financially, Yemima says that she is able to do everything with a smile because of the weekly food help that she receives from The Fellowship. “Not being able to provide a Shabbat meal for my children would be the ultimate hardship. I’m trying to raise them with faith, thanksgiving, and traditions, and having a Shabbat meal is the foundation of all of those values.

"Now, because of The Fellowship, not only do my children have food on the table, but they also know that it was donated by Christians abroad. This instills in their heart from a young age that they are not alone, and indeed they are loved by someone besides their mother. Thank you!”

Tags: IFCJ , Crisis and Need

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

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