While we are all struggling in various ways with the isolation and stress induced by the epidemic, the struggles are far more difficult for many of our needy neighbors.
This year, PCS has been partnering on a UJA Open Tent grant, together with Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC) in the Bronx, to provide Jewish gateways for Jews of color, LGBTQ and interfaith families in Westchester.
Although our grant-related activities are in Westchester, I want to support our partners at MMCC and the people they serve. Imagine sharing a small apartment among three families and struggling to keep afloat from day to day. Many live in dire circumstances even at the best of times. How much more those families are struggling now, when the inequities of our society have been thrown into sharp relief.
This week was my birthday and I decided to do a fundraiser for the MMCC food pantry. Please join in! To donate, go to:
IMPORTANT: YOU MUST FILL IN THE "IN HONOR OF" SECTION of the form with "For food pantry"! (If you forget, you can respond and tell them this when they send your donation acknowledgement). You can also call 718-882-4000, ext. 0 and say you would like to donate for the food pantry, or mail a check to MMCC (memo line: food pantry) and send to: MMCC, 3450 Dekalb Ave., Bronx, NY 10467.
Another organization on the front lines of feeding the hungry right now in New York City is a favorite of mine: Masbia. Founded by a really cool Hassid, Alexander Rappaport, they normally have soup kitchens (that are really like nice restaurants) to feed thousands of needy New Yorkers daily. They are now distributing groceries and food to the needy and packages of healthy foods to the quarantined.
Don't forget our local neighbors in Westchester. We can help right here by donating to the Westchester Food Bank.
Tzedakah is one of the greatest Jewish mitzvot, and there is no time like now to help those in need. Tzedakah saves lives. It may even alleviate our own anxiety and stress for a bit when we do something to help others.
Let me know in the comments if you are finding ways to do extra mitzvot now!
Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan shares her thoughts (and some original photos) and invites your comments.