Thursday, June 01, 2023

On Monday, May 15, communities across the United States will join together in dining at participating kosher restaurants to feed hungry Israelis.

Ten percent of proceeds will go toward funding Meir Panim’s Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens in Israel. There are 1.7 million Israelis who live in poverty—and 800,000 of them are vulnerable children.

For more than a decade, America Eats for Israel has been a groundbreaking show of solidarity with the needy of Israel. Originally a Baltimore-based initiative led by students of Yeshivat Rambam and then Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, AEFI is now a national event.

“This is a fun way to raise awareness in the U.S. that Israel has an epidemic of disadvantaged people who need our help,” said Danielle Rubin, project director for American Friends of Meir Panim. “We are hoping that this project raises significant funds to help impoverished Israelis.”

Meir Panim’s projects include free restaurants, meals-on-wheels for the homebound, prepaid food shopping cards, school lunch programs and after-school youth clubs.

Jewish students in multiple U.S. cities have recruited participating restaurants, are working hard to publicize the event and are excitedly planning to “eat out for Israel” on May 15.

Participating schools and groups include Bruriah High School for Girls, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, and Torah Academy of Bergen County in New Jersey; Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, and Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls on Long Island; Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA) in New York City; and Atlantic Seaboard NCSY, Beth El Hebrew School, Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, Krieger Schechter Day School, Ner Tamid Youth and Scouts and Ohr Chadash Academy in Baltimore.

“Since America Eats for Israel began…, my family has enthusiastically eaten pizza, shawarma, hamburgers, donuts, Chinese food and more happily knowing that 10 percent of what we paid goes towards supporting our people in Israel,” explained Rabbi Sam Wach, youth director for the Ner Tamid Youth and Scouts. “As the day approaches, we can feel the excitement from participating students and community members... I can still picture in my mind the students standing on the road waving at cars to beckon them to share in this worthy mission. It is with great pride that Congregation Ner Tamid Youth and Scouts will be, once again, taking a lead in this project.”

Elie Hirt, assistant director of student activities and recruitment at Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA) in New York City, said that students are excitedly recruiting neighborhood restaurants for the event.

“Americans are often unaware that many Israelis do not know where their next meal is coming from—many people, especially the elderly, must choose between buying medicine or food,” explained Rubin. “America Eats for Israel is a wonderful way to show solidarity with the needy of Israel, simply by eating out at your favorite restaurant.”

For more information on America Eats for Israel, please visit www.americaeatsforisrael.com.

To donate to American Friends of Meir Panim, please visit www.meirpanim.org or call 877-736-6283. Please mail checks to 5316 New Utrecht Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219.

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