Singing from the porches - in honor of the lonely

Rabbinic organization acts to benefit elders those who are alone - with song and practical help.

Arutz Sheva ,

Helping the needy in Modiin
Helping the needy in Modiin
צילום: Barkai Center

In anticipation of the upcoming Seder night - an initiative of the Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics and Community Development which has already spread to many communities and neighborhoods throughout Israel calls on Israelis to go out to their porches at 8:00 pm on Seder eve and to sing aloud the song VeHi SheAmdah. The organization said: "On this Seder evening we will stand as one and warm the hearts of our dear brothers and sisters who will be celebrating the Seder by themselves! We will all go out to our porches and courtyards and we will sing VeHi SheAmdah aloud so that the song will enter into every house in Israel - so that no one will truly be alone - The Nation of Israel lives!"

In addition, the organization has enlisted hundreds of city residents to an assist thousands of elderly and people living alone.

Modiin was one of the first cities that asked thousands of its citizens to stay inside due to rapid coronavirus outbreak in the city. In response, the Barkai Center in cooperation with the Modiin Social Services Department mobilized hundreds of city residents.

In a matter of days, the coronavirus infected tens of residents in Modiin's prestigious Kaizer neighborhood and then spread to other neighborhoods in the city. As a result, the Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics and Community Development, based in the city and that has trained close to 80 rabbis across Israel including nine who serve as community rabbis in Modiin took upon itself the operation to assist thousands of residents who had to quarantine.

To succeed in the task, the rabbis and their volunteers appointed Captains for each of the 13 neighborhoods of Modiin and tasked them with setting up Whatsapp groups to enlist hundreds of volunteers who would be in direct touch with people in need to assure they would have uninterrupted supply of food and other essential items.

In the last two weeks close to 400 volunteers have been enlisted and together with activists of the organizations they distribute hot meals in all of the 13 neighborhoods 4-5 days a week. Each days' delivery includes hot meals and nutritional fare, enough for several days.

In addition to meal deliveries, the Barkai Center also established a hotline for any elderly person who cannot leave their home during this time. With the hotline, volunteers can acquire for them basic needs, shop for grocery items in the supermarket and medications from the pharmacy, plus any other needs. A completed mission is reported to the Modiin social welfare department to update their databases.

"The Social Welfare Department of Modiin that has placed its trust in us continues to add more and more projects", points out Amit Baron, Barkai's Project Director. "We printed over 300 neon yellow vests with the words 'Volunteer on the Job' and purchased over 3,000 masks and gloves to enable our volunteers to do their jobs safely and efficiently."