(Meir Panim) (Meir Panim)

As Chanukah approaches, staff and volunteers at Meir Panim, one of Israel’s largest assistance networks for the needy, are working hard to ensure a joyous festival for everyone.

Meir Panim runs five restaurant-style Soup Kitchens. The organization operates in Tzfat, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Dimona and Or Akiva. Those who come to eat are served sit-down style, as they would be in a restaurant. Over Chanukah, they will be able to enjoy the special atmosphere of the holiday, with menorahs, decorations, and, of course, sufganiyot (traditional jelly donuts).

The organization distributes over 1,000,000 meals every year with the help of some 3,000 volunteers.

“During Chanukah, we see many families come and volunteer, which is very nice,” says Mimi Rozmaryn, Director of Global Development at Meir Panim.

Meir Panim also runs additional programs at their branches, such as a weekly “free-shuk” initiative, which offers patrons the opportunity to choose from fresh fruit and vegetables for free to bring home and cook to their own liking.

“Every week, they give me enough food for a few days so that I have what I need to live,” says Maurice, a 75-year-old disabled veteran who served in two wars and lives near Or Akiva.

“Life is very difficult, there is nothing I can do, only pray that it will be good,” he adds.

According to Ilanit, the manager of Meir Panim in Or Akiva, providing for people’s physical needs is only a part of what the organization does.

“We give clothing, produce, radiators, and shoes, but these are all physical things,” she says. “I give them love and remove the shame and this is something important.”

Meir Panim is also devoted to giving back to the community that supports their work. For this reason, in Or Akiva, the organization is delivering sufganiyot to old age homes, daycares, and police officers around the city to celebrate Chanukah.

As the holiday season approaches, do you want to help Maurice and other disabled veterans in Israel break the cycle of poverty? Don’t miss the last chance for your 2022 tax-deductible donation, give now!

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