May 25, 2024
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Meir Panim Brings Joy In Times of Turmoil

Holiday packages.

Despite—or because of—the challenging situation in Israel, with the ongoing war, Meir Panim has chosen this year to double down on its mission of spreading joy and support during Purim and Passover. Their efforts were not just about assistance but infusing a sense of normalcy and celebration into the lives of those whose lives have been most affected during this difficult period.

For Purim, Meir Panim made special efforts to fulfill its name and “brighten the faces” of regular patrons: needy families, Holocaust survivors and the elderly, in addition to troops and displaced families. “We distributed over 4,000 traditional Purim gift baskets and as many festive Purim meals,” Mimi Rozmaryn, director of global development at Meir Panim said, describing a monumental endeavor. Meir Panim branches also gave out Purim costumes to ensure that the children would experience the joy of the day to the fullest.

In line with its commitment to assist in the war effort and ensure the safety and preparedness of vulnerable populations, Meir Panim continued distribution of special tactical equipment to local groups of volunteer first responders. “This week we distributed to 20 more communities, totaling 112 of the 134 communities in the northern border who are truly in harm’s way,” said Rozmaryn.

And at the close of Purim, while the country as a whole was making the rapid turnaround toward Passover preparations, Rozmaryn described how staff returned speedily to their normal routine of caring for those in need—“jumping into our free shuk days and preparing for Shabbat—while simultaneously making up lists of people who had requested help for Passover.”

Preparing Seder meals.

Meir Panim’s five branches across Israel—in Tzfat, Tiberias, Or Akiva, Jerusalem and Dimona—do an amazing job every year arranging all the necessities of the Passover holiday: cooked Seder meals, as well as generous pantry baskets and grocery shopping cards. The branches in Tzfat and Dimona open their doors wide to people from the community and beyond to partake of a beautiful communal Seder, while the other branches are closed for the week of the holiday. While we all pray that the war will be over by Passover, Meir Panim is prepared to deliver thousands of Seder meals to frontline troops and displaced families as well. “Through our work we don’t only address immediate needs,” said Rozmaryn. “We weave a stronger social fabric, bringing individuals together and providing hope, support and shared joy.”

Support Meir Panim by donating online at mpdonate.org, by phone at 877-736-6283, or by mail: American Friends of Meir Panim, 88 Walton Street, Suite B1, Brooklyn, NY 11206. All donations made in the US are tax-deductible under EIN #20-1582478.

Soldiers receiving mishloach manot.
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