What started as a fun activity during a family trip to Israel turned into a young-girl’s charitable mission.
Last summer, 12 year-old Sydney Jerome from Teaneck, New Jersey, came to Israel to celebrate her cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. During this trip, her family volunteered to pack dried healthful food, like beans and rice, for Israel’s impoverished citizens.
This food, she learned, would be included in some of the 8,500 monthly boxes delivered to Israel’s struggling citizens through the charity organization, Colel Chabad. Since 1788, Colel Chabad’s first priority has been ensuring that people living in the Holy Land have daily nutrition as well as something extra special for holidays. In fact, before each holiday, the charity’s food deliveries increase by an astounding 20,000 boxes.
Recognizing the efficient and holy work of Colel Chabad, Jerome got inspired to create a charity project of her own, as part of her Bat Mitzvah rite-of-passage project.
Over the course of five weeks, she baked and sold 132 dozen cookies allowing her to donate $1,326 to Colel Chabad.
“There are so many people around the world in need of assistance and I thought the best place to start helping is our homeland,” Jerome stated. “I don’t have the breakdown of how many dozen per type of cookie [sold], but I can tell you rainbow sprinkles was the most popular, hands down,” she joked.
Colel Chabad is the recognized leader in advanced food security for Israel’s neediest households, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or religion. The well-organized charity combines the fulfillment of the immediate needs of Israel’s struggling citizens with the education of poverty stricken individuals, widows, and orphans, to break the vicious cycle of poverty. And, all this is done with dignity, concern and care.
Local municipalities work side by side with Colel Chabad ensuring that those who need, receive. These local government agencies contribute 20 percent towards the aid of their struggling residents, while Colel Chabad covers 80 percent of the needed revenue for their programs through the generous donations of their supporters.
To date, over 630,400 bags of quality dried goods have been packed by volunteers for distribution to the hungry. “When children see their parents and families investing, not just financially but physically in the future of someone else, that experience sticks with them,” explained Rabbi Menachem Traxler, director of volunteering for Colel Chabad. “It becomes part of who they are as they grow up, bringing us another generation of charity and giving. We are so proud of Sydney and her family and the wonderful work they have done to raise awareness and the funds to help feed two families for a whole year.”
With the Jewish holidays of Purim and Passover coming up, Colel Chabad’s holiday preparations are well underway. For Purim, the organization will provide nearly 26,000 struggling Israelis, including elderly, Holocaust survivors, young widows and orphans, with a joyous atmosphere, meal, entertainment and companionship.
For Passover, Colel Chabad offers free public Passover Seders that are attended by thousands of broken families, the lonely, poor, or abandoned individuals hosted in dozens of locations throughout the Holy Land.
To donate to Colel Chabad’s network of social welfare programs, please click here.
Written in cooperation with Colel Chabad.