Working together to help Cape Town’s most vulnerable

A church feeding scheme in Mitchells Plain that benefited from the food parcels

By Galya Tregenza Hall, Media Liaison, South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council)

Cape Town may be under lockdown but the spirit, heart and empathy of the city’s Jewish community is most certainly not.

The SAZF Cape Council in conjunction with South African Friends of Israel and Bnoth Zion WIZO have been working hard to help alleviate the plight of some of Cape Town’s most needy and most hungry communities.

SAZF Director Julie Berman has been collecting food and monetary donations and has been overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of the Jewish community here in Cape Town. All money has been used to purchase various food items, face masks and hand sanitizers. To date, we have delivered individual family parcels to 24 greatly impoverished families. Further, by working alongside local pastors 12 different church feeding schemes have received these amazing food parcels too.

Through this beautiful collaboration, we have been able to reach out and make a difference to those who need it most in several areas of Cape Town including Mitchells Plain, Kraaifontein, Guguletu, Philippi and Khayelitsha.

We would like to extend our thanks to Pick n Pay who discounted all the food that we purchased and donated carrier bags as well. We are also so grateful to Shelley Trope Friedman of the Elkin Charitable Trust for donating face masks and hand sanitizers.

We have just celebrated Passover, a time during which we are reminded to not forget the poor. Besides providing ma’ot chittim (funds for purchasing matzah and other holiday necessities) for the needy before Passover, during the Seder meal, we reach out to them: “This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need come and celebrate the Passover.”

The Torah and Jewish tradition give clear instruction regarding feeding the hungry. “When you are asked in the world to come, ‘What was your work?’ and you answer: ‘I fed the hungry,’ you will be told: ‘This is the gate of the Lord, enter into it, you who have fed the hungry’” (Midrash to Psalm 118:17).

Through various outreach projects, Cape Town’s Jewish community has risen up and extended a hand of support and comfort to those who are struggling greatly through this lockdown period and we at the SAZF Cape Council feel privileged to be playing our part too.

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Pastor Aaron Mhakile and his wife collect parcels from SAZF Cape Council Director, Julie Berman for his church feeding scheme in Khayelitsha Site-C

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