Humanitarian groups provide Passover food for needy Jews in former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe


(JTA) — Humanitarian groups are providing food packages for needy Jews in the former Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will distribute 20 tons of matzah to tens of thousands of elderly Jews living in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Russia.

The effort is supported by JDC’s partnerships with the Claims Conference, Jewish Federations of North America and the IFCJ Food and Medicine Lifeline, JDC’s operational partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

JDC will provide prepared food, seder meals, cultural activities and workshops for the holiday in Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Romania, it said in a statement.

It also will provide matzah and wine for several communitywide seders in India. In Egypt, JDC will provide nearly 90 pounds of matzah and other Passover essentials for the small Jewish community.

IFCJ said in a statement that it would distribute more than 100,000 boxes of matzah and 75,000 bottles of grape juice as part of holiday food packages for Passover in the former Soviet Union. The purchase of the local products, their packaging and distribution are supervised by local Chabad emissaries, who know the local communities and their financial requirements, the group said.

Meanwhile, the IFCJ and The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in cooperation with Yachad Lema’an Hachayal are providing gift cards worth about $140 each to 10,000 Israeli soldiers in need to assist them in purchasing supplies such as food, clothes, shoes and leisure items. Some 6,757 recipients of the gift cards are Lone Soldiers, who come from abroad to serve in the IDF without any immediate family in Israel, or native Israelis who serve without family support.

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