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Interfaith group sends matzah to needy FSU Jews

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An interfaith group sent over 100 tons of matzah from Israel to Jews in the former Soviet Union.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews had the Jerusalem-baked matzah shipped to Jewish communities in the FSU, where some 100,000 Jews live.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the head of the fellowship, recently returned from a visit to Ukraine to view the current crises its Jews are encountering.

“I saw firsthand the difficulties that community, which is a part of our people, is facing and so we decided to raise their spirits with a delivery of matzot, a symbol of the Jewish people,” Eckstein said in a statement.

Meanwhile in Israel, Leket, a national food bank and food rescue network, distributed 386 tons of fresh produce to needy families in advance of Passover. Much of the food was picked by Leket volunteers and regular pickers. In addition, 11 tons of dry goods and dairy products donated from Israeli manufacturers were delivered to 180 nonprofit agencies dedicated to helping families.

“There is an increased need around the holiday times, and we are seeing an even greater one this year with the number of working poor on the rise,” said Joseph Gitler, the founder and chairman of Leket Israel.

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