Approximately 60 volunteers from The Kind Kitchen of Palm Beach, the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach county’s Jewish Volunteer Center, and Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service prepped, packaged, and delivered 500 meals for the Passover holiday, with some very special surprises!

Drivers navigated throughout Palm Beach County, making deliveries in masks and gloves, practicing social distancing. They safely dropped off festive, traditional meals (gefilte fish and horseradish, salad, chicken, brisket, kugel {a baked casserole side dish}, tzimmes {a carrot and dried fruit stew}, cake and grape juice), a Passover card, Seder plate, guide to the holiday, and Kiddush cup to each household for the holiday commemorating the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt.

Meals that reached clients of Alpert JFS’ Holocaust Survivors Assistance program were funded through KAVOD. The organization partners with Jewish family services and other organizations that work with survivors, providing assistance with whatever emergency or day-to-day needs that they have.  The mission of KAVOD is to provide emergency relief to Holocaust survivors in need, helping them live the remainder of their lives in comfort and with dignity. The organization partners with Jewish Family Service and other organizations that work with Survivors, providing assistance with vital emergency or ongoing day-to-day needs that they have. One hundred percent of all donations by KAVOD go to Survivors.

“This marks the second year that we have partnered together as a community to provide Passover meals from The Kind Kitchen,” said Alpert JFS Director of Long Term Care Jennifer Escobar. “I can’t think of a more important mission than to be able to allow our clients to enjoy holiday traditions during a year that has been challenging for so many. We are grateful for this collaboration and for all the staff and volunteers who make these special days possible.”

“Passover is a holiday filled with symbolism; my favorite is the charoset (a paste made of fruits and nuts that is on the Seder plate, representing the mortar that the Hebrews needed to work with during their enslavement), with its flavorful ingredients symbolic of all of our volunteers merging together to deliver holiday meals throughout the community,” said Alpert JFS Director of Volunteer Leadership Belinda Lasky. “The joy and appreciation on the faces of recipients demonstrate the importance of these holiday rituals.”

“We left Egypt in a hurry, with dough that baked in the sun, turning into matzoh, which is symbolic of humility and selflessness,” said Chani Ezagui, of Kind Kitchen. “These honorable traits are exhibited by our volunteers, who put themselves aside for others, ensuring that our festive Seder dinners reach hundreds of people, enabling them to rejoice in our liberty. We serve dinners throughout Passover week, with an additional 400 people benefiting.”

“It is inspiring and humbling to receive such strong community support for providing holiday meals to hundreds who are homebound,” shared Program Director for the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s Jewish Volunteer Center Melissa Hudson. “We are grateful for our growing funding partnership with The Kind Kitchen of Palm Beach, and are hopeful we can bring even more holiday and Shabbat meals to those in our community who desperately need them.”

Additionally, Alpert JFS’ Kosher Food Pantry distributed Passover baskets to agency clients filled with boxes of matzo, low-sodium matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, canned carrots, canned peas and potatoes, kosher-for- Passover cranberry sauce, and the option to receive a frozen kosher turkey or Publix gift card. The baskets were decorated by residents of the Melvin J. & Claire Levine Jewish Residential & Family Service Apartment Program. Volunteers are always welcome, and donations of non-perishable food and toiletries are greatly appreciated.

The Jewish Volunteer Center of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County works to identify, cultivate, and develop a network of people and opportunities that connects the Jewish community with meaningful volunteer experiences. Learn more about the program at https://jewishpb.org/volunteer/.

The Kind Kitchen of Palm Beach, located at 844 Prosperity Farms Road in North Palm Beach, is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to doing kindness. Weekly Glatt Kosher meals are available to the elderly, new and/or single mothers, those in mourning, people recovering from surgery, people with a terminal illness, or anyone experiencing the stresses of COVID-19. Menus rotate each week so established clients have variety. To volunteer with the organization, sponsor or sign up to receive traditional meals, visit www.thekindkitchen.org.

Seven full-time employees work in Alpert JFS’ Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program to preserve the dignity of Holocaust survivors, identifying and addressing their distinct social welfare, health care, and emotional needs with the utmost sensitivity. They help survivors navigate the Reparations Benefit Process, and provide monthly, bi-monthly, and annual socialization activities. The HonoringLifeTM program provides cultural competency training for healthcare and legal professionals, as well as others who may encounter Holocaust survivors. https://www.alpertjfs.org/for-seniors-holocaust-survivors-assistance/ for more information.

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