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Passover Assistance: Ma’ot Chitim





“Let all who are hungry, come and eat….” (Passover Haggadah)


Ma’ot Chitim, defined as "Wheat Money", is a mitzvah discussed in the Talmud to promote and ensure that charitable donations are collected so that Matzah is available at Passover for the poor and needy.  The importance of food related commandments at Passover continue at the Seder table, which is opened with the verse in the Haggadah, “KOL DICHFIN YEITEI V'YEICHOL”- Let all who are hungry, come and eat!, an invitation to the poor to join our Seder.  It is a core Jewish tradition that on Passover, we as a community care for the poor and the hungry among us (Sefer Ha-Toda'a).  


Each year, Jewish Child and Family Service (JCFS) distributes Ma’ot Chitim hampers to JCFS clients, but also to many families who have themselves requested additional assistance to help meet the higher costs of Passover food.  JCFS accepts requests from any community member needing Passover assistance. 


JCFS is the central Jewish agency in Winnipeg for the collection of funds and distribution of Passover assistance to those Jewish individuals and families in our community in need.  A donation to the Passover Assistance program will help fulfill both the important Mitzvah of giving and ensures that Passover is celebrated by everyone, even those who are financially challenged.  Each year, hampers are delivered to various Jewish families in the community and also to the elderly, single parents, new immigrants, people living with mental health differences, and the isolated, infirmed and disabled.


The size and contents of hampers are determined by family size and makeup, with consideration to dietary restrictions or allergies.  Every year, the cost of Passover products steadily increases.  As well, higher hamper costs are associated with enhancements such as fresh vegetables and frozen or cooked chicken.  Please see our 2015 flyer for details.


Last year, JCFS distributed 125 Passover hampers, which greatly enhanced the holiday for 265 individuals.  Once again this year, JCFS will partner with the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre for the purchase of products, staffing and preparing all the hampers, and with families from the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg’s Ben-Gurion Society, who will be delivering the hampers.  Every year, recipients of these hampers express their deep and heartfelt appreciation for the generosity of the community in helping them fully participate in the celebration of Passover.


In the true spirit of "Tzedakah" please give generously to this year's Passover Assistance Program.


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.