While Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) begins tomorrow at sundown, too many Jews – in Israel, in the former Soviet Union (FSU), and elsewhere – are struggling to survive, much less afford food for this sacred celebration. The Yeshiva World News reports how The Fellowship is working to remedy that, in part, by delivering 100 tons of matzah (the unleavened bread eaten by Jews during Passover) to Ukraine’s suffering Jewish community:
In the last few days, a shipment of over hundred tons of matzos was dispatched by Chabad shluchim to about 100 thousand needy Jews across the former Soviet Union. This was the initiative of Lev Leviev, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC), and Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). Chief Rabbi and Chabad emissary of Donetsk, Pinchas Vishedski: “Besides the matzos serving as the Pesach bread, they remind my community of their Jewish roots and gives them hope for a better future”.
Alongside the matzos, ten thousands of food packages were handed to thousands of Jewish families from the former Soviet Union, such as Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and more, directly or indirectly harmed by the on-going war in East Ukraine…“On behalf of all the Jewish communities across the FSU, I wish to personally thank Rabbi Eckstein” states FJC’s President Mr. Lev Leviev “The Fellowship in his leadership has an open heart to the needs of every single Jew close and afar throughout the year. The IFJC’s great deeds of kindness leave a deep mark and an everlasting influence on the continuity of Russian Jewry.”
Besides the abovementioned activities, the IFJC is also enhancing an aid operation to ten thousands of the needy in Israel. The operation is estimated to a total sum of 18.5 million shekels, distributed via food and clothing certificates to families in need, lone soldiers, children of welfare care facilities and the elderly. The IFJC’s operation includes over 200 cities and local authorities across Israel of all socio-economic levels, at the center and in the periphery.
Rabbi Eckstein concludes that “What has changed in this Pesach? Unfortunately not much. The poverty in Israel is widening, and we feel the constant increase in the requests for help during the holidays and around the year. We hope and expect to see this tendency overturning as a result of concrete and clear decisions of the new government to fight poverty and the nutritional insecurity it entails.”