When Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi founded Colel Chabad in 1788 to help the needy in the land of Israel, Passover assistance was one of the first priorities. With the holiday rapidly approaching, the charity is working hard again this year to provide assistance to more than 17,000 families and individuals throughout the country.
“The logistics start months before, with packing beginning immediately after Purim,” explains Rabbi Tzvi Blau, who directs the distribution with the assistance of all departments of Colel Chabad. “In all, we distribute roughly 25 tons of matzah, 260 tons of vegetables and 60 tons of chicken to more than 70 cities, towns and villages throughout Israel. Wherever possible, local volunteers provide home delivery; elsewhere, the recipients pick up their packages from the town center,” he says.
The price tag for the food comes to an impressive $2.1 million to various destinations. Five hundred widows and orphans receive aid through Colel Chabad’s Chesed Menachem Mendel Orphan Fund, including financial support, food baskets and vouchers for clothing. Two thousand Holocaust survivors will receive assistance from Colel Chabad in conjunction with the Claims Conference, established in 1951 to obtain compensation from the German government for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.
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