A Jerusalem street
A Jerusalem street Shutterstock

Pesach is getting closer, and near chaos has broken out in a small set of offices located in Jerusalem. These are the offices of charity organization Vaad HaRabbanim, where 10 new volunteers have been added just to prepare for the flow of Kimcha Depischa donations. With each donation that comes in, another check is written for a poor family. For the families receiving the checks, the help comes at a crucial time: They have only days to purchase groceries and other essentials for the holiday.

One young mother in particular reflects on what Pesach has been like for her family:

"Ever since my husband passed away, I’ve been struggling to care for our 8 kids alone. Money is always hard, but there’s nothing more difficult than Pesach. We can’t afford chicken so we mostly eat potatoes and salad. I know the older kids remember what it was like when we could afford real meals. It breaks my heart to see them hungry, especially on Pesach.

We used to go to Rav Chaim zt”l for blessings, and the checks we would get from Vaad HaRabbanim made a huge difference. Now we are so worried … Without the Rav’s letter, will people continue to give? Will I be able to buy my kids the new shoes they need, or chicken for the seder? All we can do is pray.” -Rechy*, Bnei Brak

Indeed, Rav Chaim Kanievsky was a known advocate for Vaad HaRabbanim’s kimcha depischa program. Without Rav Kanievsky’s support, the families in need are concerned that the public will not be moved to give.

The fund, however, does not come without its support: Rav Ezrachi and Rav Mordechai Gross have both come out in public support of the campaign, generously blessing donors with “nachat from their children” and “true simchas yom tov.” Rav Ezrachi urges that donating is a “huge merit in shamayim.”

Donations are being collected for the next week only.

*Details changed to protect the family’s privacy