Sao Paulo Jews gather coats for needy

An annual Jewish-led winter campaign in Brazil garnered 14,000 coats for donation to the poor.

Some 350 Jewish youths collected coats from homes on the elegant streets of Higienopolis, a Sao Paulo neighborhood with a large concentration of Jews.

Donors also could drop off coats in collection boxes in the major town square. Some 40 Jewish institutions also served as collection sites.

Organized by the Sao Paulo State Jewish Federation, the Coats Campaign is in its eighth year and surpassed the 10,000 coats gathered in 2007.

The coats will be delivered to the state’s social development fund. Government officials have praised the program.

“Our Jewish youth has been fully committed and engaged in this important Jewish concept of tzedakah,” said Boris Ber, the president of the Sao Paulo State Jewish Federation, the umbrella institution for some 60,000 Jews.

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