The Succos holiday season has come and gone and we are frantically working on PESACH! Yes, Pesach is around the corner for Yad Ezrah volunteers who must plan and implement a gourmet get-a-way for hundreds of widows and orphans.
Until now, the program has hosted about 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 project is run by a dedicated team of volunteer chefs and 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 past year was $330,000 (which included renting the facility, food, transportation, activities etc.)
But, the demand is unfortunately far greater than we have been able to handle so far. Past wars and terrorist attacks have caused the number of potential “Pesach guests” to grow and Yad Ezrah does not shy away from a need that must be answered. It is imperative that we open our doors and our hearts to the many widows and orphans who we have had to turn away for lack of space and food.
Our goal this year is to invite at least double the amount of widows and orphans to our seder and wipe away the bitterness of reality for a week. Our need is to raise $800,000 by yesterday. The success of a program this big depends on the planning and timing of every detail of the project. The earlier we secure the location, purchase the hospitality goods, secure the staff, procure the necessities, etc…, the more cost effective this project becomes. As a business man, the words “cost effective” rings loud and clear.
Please join us in this undertaking and provide an “afikomin” for hundreds of widows and orphans this Pesach. It is something you will never regret and something Hashem will never forget.