The Widows & Orphans Pesach Project
A colorful portrait of kindness becomes the backdrop behind the efforts of Yad Ezrah. Each of our projects provide a diamond in our crown of accomplishments. But there is no diamond more sparkling or more gratifying than the one affiliated with our Pesach assistance to Widows and Orphans.
Leil HaSeder is typically the most difficult night for widows and orphans because it is a night where husbands and fathers lead their families through the Seder. However, the tables of these widows and orphans are silent and lonely. For these families, the “Ma Nishtanah” is not answered and the “Afikomin” is never hidden…and yet, they must move forward.
Unfortunately, each year there are new families added to ranks of the widowed and orphaned. Yad Ezrah opens its heart and pockets to again make miracles happen at this most sensitive and difficult time of year. Our special Pesach project provides widows and orphans with a warm, supportive, and very positive environment. The purpose of the project is to remove the family from their environment of sadness and lingering memories of a world so destroyed.
For eight days, they receive full guest accommodations and all needed provisions for the Yom Tov, as well as the opportunity to participate in activities, lectures etc. with others of similar background. This is all free of charge. This experience, which the entire family looks forward to, fills them with simcha and renewed strength to get through the rest of the year.
The program hosts 450 carefully screened needy widows and orphans (approximately 75 families), from diverse backgrounds, including victims of war and terror. We rent the entire Yeshivat Bnei Akiva premises at Kfar HaRo’eh Village in order to host this project. (The demand is far greater but this is the maximum capacity of the premises).
The project is run by a dedicated team of volunteer chefs, hospitality professionals, and approximately 30 volunteers who assist in cooking, cleaning, maintenance and serving as counselors. Attention is given to each detail so as to provide a rich, nourishing menu for both body and soul, as well as much needed relaxation from anxiety and stress that accompanies the trauma of losing a family member. The Yom Tov menu is elaborate and festive and the Seder table is set as befitting children of the King.
The project is totally subsidized. It provides the best possible quality and variety of hospitality, food and activities while being mindful and responsible for keeping expenses at a reasonable level. The staff works on a volunteer basis. The overall cost of the project this year is $330,000 (which includes renting the facility, food, transportation, activities etc.) See videos below: