Humanitarian groups provide matzo for needy Jews in former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

JTA

(JTA) — Humanitarian groups are providing food packages for needy Jews in the former Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will distribute 20 tons of matzo to tens of thousands of elderly Jews living in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Russia.

The effort is supported by JDC’s partnerships with the Claims Conference, Jewish Federations, and the IFCJ Food and Medicine Lifeline, JDC’s operational partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

JDC will provide prepared food, seder meals, cultural activities and workshops for the holiday in Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Romania, it said in a statement.

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JDC also will provide matzo and wine for several community-wide seders in India. In Egypt, JDC will provide nearly 90 pounds of matzo, and other Passover essentials for the small Jewish community.

IFCJ said in a statement that it would distribute more than 100,000 boxes of matzo and 75,000 bottles of grape juice as part of holiday food packages for Passover in the former Soviet Union. The purchase of the local products, their packaging and the distribution of the packages are supervised by local Chabad emissaries, who know the local communities and their financial requirements, the group said.

Meanwhile, the IFCJ and The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in cooperation with Yachad Lema’an Hachayal are providing gift cards worth about $140 each to 10,000 Israeli soldiers in need to assist them in purchasing supplies such as food, clothes, shoes and leisure items.  Some 6,757 recipients of the gift cards are Lone Soldiers, who come from abroad to serve in the IDF without any immediate family in Israel, or native Israelis who serve without family support.