Public sukkah from Colel Chabad, in Tzfat
Public sukkah from Colel Chabad, in Tzfat Colel Chabad

The holiday season, specifically the holiday of Sukkot (the Festival of Tabernacles), is a time defined by joy and family. But for impoverished, elderly or widowed families, it can be a period of added stress and challenge to put food on the table.

Supporting Israel’s needy and elderly since 1788, Colel Chabad continued with their holiday food distribution and delivered boxes filled with everything from rice and beans to chicken and wine to over 15,000 homes. An additional 16,000 cooked holiday meals are being delivered over the next two days to 2,000 homebound elderly citizens, many of whom are Holocaust survivors.

The organization has also set up public sukkot (huts used during the holiday -ed.), as well as sukkot at their 18 soup kitchens around the country for those looking for a place to eat their holiday meals. They also have teams of volunteers to assist widows in building their personal sukkot.

Helping to keep costs down so that all available funds go directly to helping those in need, pantry staples including rice, peas, chickpeas and quinoa among other things are packaged, labeled and boxed by volunteers at the Jerusalem warehouse of Colel Chabad’s Pantry Packers.

“No words can express the gratitude we have for the support and the vouchers Colel Chabad has sent for us to be able to celebrate the holiday respectfully,” said M.A, of the recipients in Jerusalem.

As implementers of the National Food Security Project, Colel Chabad has taken their generations of experience in caring for Israel’s needy families and scaled up their infrastructure and distribution to provide for those who need it the most. Founded by the first Rebbe of Lubavitch, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the organization helps families with various support projects including food, financial planning and help, educational tutoring and enrichment, support groups and therapies, and more.

“The holidays are meant to be a time of joy, meaning, and meals around the table and we want all of these individuals to know that they are never forgotten,” said Rabbi Sholom Duchman, Director of Colel Chabad. “We strive to give them the feeling of confidence that with the start of the new year, their futures can and will be brighter. And with the inclusion of the Food Security Program into the national budget, we can work to help even more families this coming year.”