April 20, 2024
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This Purim, Send Help, Not Junk Food

While Purim is our most joyful of holidays, mishloach manos are sometimes blamed for bringing unneeded clutter and excess junk food into the house just when Pesach cleaning is beginning.

So for many in our community, stocking up on candy, chips, and miniature bottles of grape juice, just to package 20 to 50 bags, boxes or baskets of mishloach manos, and then get it all back again from neighbors, is a thing of the past.

Instead, many have turned to the various local non-profit tzedakah organizations who have turned Purim postcards or modest Purim packages into a no-frills fundraiser. Of course, this isn’t done to replace the actual mitzvah of mishloah manos, but simply to reduce the clutter.

The following is information about some of our local and Israel-based non-profit Purim offerings.

Tomchei Shabbos volunteers provide Shabbos boxes to needy families in Bergen County. Tomchei Shabbos sells Purim postcards through local stores which you can then send to your neighbors. They are $15 for a package of 10, and they are available at local retailers Best Glatt, Chopstix, Grand & Essex, Judaica House, Poppy’s, Ma’adan, Noah’s Ark, Food Showcase (Fairlawn), and Menagerie (Englewood).

Project Ezrah aids members of the Bergen County community who are suffering from the hardships of unemployment. Project Ezrah offers modest but attractively packaged mishloach manos, containing two small edible items, so that the larger share of what a person spends is distributed locally as matanos l’evyonim (gifts to the poor) on Purim day. One can either “buy a bunch,” five for $39, 10 for $77, and 20 for $150, or one can have items sent directly to your neighbors for $8 per package, five for $40 and 10 for $80. Orders can be made online at http://www.ezrah.org/purim. Orders must be made by February 26th.

Sharsheret offer a community of support to women diagnosed with breast cancer or at increased genetic risk of cancer by fostering culturally-relevant individualized connections with networks of peers, health professionals, and related resources. Purim cards come in packages of 12 for $36. Orders may be shipped directly to you or picked up from the Sharsheret office in Teaneck, 1086 Teaneck Road, Suite 3A, from January 30th through March 10th. Cards are also available for purchase at Judaica House and Grand & Essex Market, and orders can be made online at http://www.sharsheret.org/purimcards.

Sinai Schools, based in Teaneck, is regarded as one of the country’s leading Jewish schools for children with learning or developmental disabilities whose needs cannot be met in a regular educational setting. Sinai Schools’ colorful Purim postcards are $1 each and are available online at http://www.sinaischools.org/purim or at Ma’adan Caterers, Best Glatt, Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, Torah Academy of Bergen County, and Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School.

Chai Lifeline: Through programs that address the emotional, social, and financial needs of seriously ill children, their families, and communities, Chai Lifeline seeks to restore normalcy to family life and to better enable families to withstand the crises and challenges of serious pediatric illness. A variety of Purim cards are $20 for sets of 10. Items can be shipped free with a purchase of two or more sets. For an additional fee, your cards can be sent directly from Chai Lifeline. Visit http://www.chailifeline.org/events/card/purim.

Yad Eliezer is Israel’s largest poverty relief agency with many programs impacting tens of thousands of individuals. For every card sold, a family will receive much needed help that will greatly add to their celebration. Purim Cards are $3 each, $25 for a pack of 10, $50 for a pack of $20, or $108 for a pack of 50. Please visit Yad Eliezer’s website at http://www.yadeliezer.org for more information.

Leket Israel, Israel’s National Food Bank and largest food rescue network, spreads the festive joy and prevents the needless destruction of our food resources. $1 provides 10 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for one needy person for a week. Visit the website http://www.purim.leket.org to purchase printed cards, e-cards, picture cards or video cards to send a personalized video greeting. Printed cards cost: $36 for 18 cards and envelopes (1 pack), $70 for 36 (2 packs), $90 for 54 (3 packs,) and$170 for 108 (4 packs.) Unlimited Purim e-cards, picture cards, and video cards are available for $18.

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