Interfaith group sends over 100 tons of matzah to FSU Jews

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An interfaith group sent over 100 tons of matzahs from Israel to 100,000 Jews in the former Soviet Union.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews arranged to have the matzahs that were baked in Jerusalem shipped to Jewish communities in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the head of the fellowship, recently returned from an emergency visit to the Ukraine to view firsthand the current crises facing the Jewish communities.

“The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews works all year round with the communities of the Former Soviet Union by distributing food, supporting educational institutions and securing Jewish communal buildings. This year we decided to increase our support, which stands at $20 million, due to the economic crisis faced by the Jews of the Ukraine. I saw firsthand the difficulties that community, which is a part of our people, is facing and so we decided to raise their spirits with a delivery of matzot, a symbol of the Jewish people,” Eckstein said in a statement.

Meanwhile in Israel, Leket, a national food bank and food rescue network, distributed 386 tons of fresh produce to needy families in advance of Passover. Much of the food was picked by Leket volunteers and regular pickers. In addition, 11 tons of dry goods and dairy products donated from Israeli manufacturers were delivered to 180 non-profit agencies dedicated to helping families.

“There is an increased need around the holiday times and we are seeing an even greater one this year with the number of working poor on the rise,” said Joseph Gitler, founder and chairman of Leket Israel.

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