Helping the Jewish People Celebrate Passover
During Passover, Jews around the world commemorate their miraculous deliverance by God from 400 years of slavery and oppression in Egypt.
The biblical command to observe this holy time of year is found in the book of Exodus: “Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the LORD for the generations to come” (Exodus 12:42).
Save Lives: a small donation will help vulnerable Jews
Leading up to Passover, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) helps hundreds of thousands of Jews prepare for a joyous holiday. “We help Jews in need both in Israel and around the world,” said Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of The Fellowship. “And this is only possible because of the love Christians have for Israel and her people – love that they show through prayer and sacrificial giving to The Fellowship’s lifesaving programs.
“Without the generosity of our supporters, so many Jews would suffer without the basic care they need just to survive. That care takes on even more significance during holidays like Passover, when needy Jews want only to observe the sacred time with dignity and according to biblical commandments.”
To make this holiday special for Jews who might otherwise not be able to celebrate, The Fellowship will again this year distribute aid to more than 150,000 Jewish people in need, both in Israel and poverty-stricken regions of the former Soviet Union. This aid will come in the form of food baskets, food cards for use at local supermarkets, clothing cards, and all the special Passover foods needed to celebrate the Passover seder meal.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday, Fellowship staff and volunteers deliver this aid. The recipients are always deeply grateful and appreciative for this special help at a sacred time of year. The food nourishes their bodies – but, even more than this, it feeds the soul by providing the priceless gift of dignity to Jews who otherwise might have gone hungry this Passover.
Helping Them Celebrate Their Faith
For poor Jewish families and elderly, struggling to pay for groceries and other basic needs stings the most during holidays like Passover. They yearn to celebrate their faith with matzah and special foods for the seder meal, but the cost is simply too much.
Thankfully, Fellowship friends around the world have made this celebration possible year after year for impoverished Jews. Orly, a mother of four whose youngest child is disabled and whose husband is out of work, summed up the impact: “We live on miracles,” she said, “and this Passover we will have food because of The Fellowship, which is another miracle.”
“Passover is a family holiday, and we want to celebrate,” said Yamit, another grateful aid recipient who is a mother of two. “The rest of the year, you explain to the kids that we don’t have enough and must go without. But at the holiday, you don’t want to have to. Thank you very much for helping my children. It strengthens us and makes us feel good in every sense of the word.” What a blessing it was for her to be able to give her children a Passover seder and celebrate as a family!
From his home in an impoverished town in Israel’s Negev desert, Uriel, a father of eight, ties the Fellowship aid he receives at Passover back to the holiday’s biblical roots. “Passover symbolizes freedom,” he says. “When you have the things you need, you feel a personal freedom … It warms my heart to know that people thousands of miles away who don’t know me want to help. I want them to know that we think of them when we sit at the seder table. It strengthens my faith to know that people want to help. They are doing what God wants, for us to help others.”
“I have no words to express what this assistance means for me and my family,” says Uzi, who was raised in Israel by Jewish immigrant parents from Morocco. “The Fellowship gives me and my wife the dignity to provide a beautiful and blessed holiday for our children!”
And many of those who receive Fellowship aid would echo the words of Donna, who credits The Fellowship and our faithful donors with giving her family a Passover to remember. “Passover wouldn’t have been Passover if not for The Fellowship,” she says. “The clothing and the food we were able to purchase thanks to The Fellowship made the holiday for me and my family, and there are no words which come close to the gratitude I feel for the help I received.”
Maya, a Fellowship soup kitchen volunteer, sees things from a different angle, but shares Donna’s sentiment. “If there was no seder meal at this Fellowship soup kitchen, most of these people would have nowhere to go for Passover.”