Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Beauty of Working Together

Over the past few days of Passover preparations, I had the good fortune to participate in a sequence of events which share a common denominator - the beauty of working together.

Monday - Lema'an Achai's Kimche Depischa
Tuesday - Beyachad's Kimche Depischa with Shaalei Torah
Wednesday - Matzo baking with Ohr Shalom and Lev hatorah

On Monday, Lema'an Achai, a leading charity in Beit Shemesh & Ramat Beit Shemesh, organized and handed out well-stocked food packages for the festival to around three hundred local families in financial crisis.

The organization of the distribution was meticulous, and respectful for the families who received. The project required the assistance of so many donors (still needed! Click here to give your Kimche Depischa donation), volunteers and professional staff; I found it moving to see this epitome of community chesed in action.

Lema'an Achai's CEO R.Avrohom Leventhal helps distribute frozen chickens

Lema'an Achai Financial Counselor Motti Weisner and volunteer Yael Morris (my daughter!) with matzos and cleaning supplies

Lema'an Achai volunteers handing out wine for the Four Cups!

Dr Zev Frankel, head of Lema'an Achai Social Services Dept, and Office Manager Elisheva Rose 

Cleaning & kitchen supplies distributed for Passover
On Tuesday evening, Shaalei Torah Yeshiva (where my son Ariel learns) in Ramat Beit Shemesh, joined forces with the Beyachad Garin Torani in Beit Shemesh, to pull off an amazing two hour project of packaging up food for distribution to needy families in Beit Shemesh.

Shaalei Torah kids sorting and packaging staple foods for needy families

While the food is being schlepped (here by R.Yonatan Bart), packages are being distributed by volunteers

Shaalei Torah kids and parents working side by side, loading up the boxes with food

Rosh Yeshiva of Shaalei Torah's Beit Medrash Program,  Rav Tzachi, closing up the boxes 

Boxes of fruits and vegetables, ready to go out

Basic foods for the festival - essential for needy families
On Wednesday evening, I participated in hand baking matzot for Passover. This was at Lev Hatorah Yeshiva in the Ramat Shilo neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh. The event was organized by Rav Chaim Soloveichik's Ohr Shalom community.
Betzalel Silverman of Ohr Shalom and R.Mordechai Kaplan of Lev Hatorah mixing the flour and water into dough  

Young members of Ohr Shalom roll out the dough

R.Avi Silverman pounds the dough 

It's tough going, and Ophir Chernin takes over

My son Ariel Morris and Baruch Weismon roll holes into the dough, while shul gabbai Richie Servinsky prepares the matzot for the oven

Rav Chaim Soloveichik, community rabbi of Ohr Shalom, keeps a close eye on the kashrut and the timing

Final stage - into the fiery oven for baking

In all these three events, everyone worked together, as a close knit dynamic team, doing whatever needed to be done, leshem shemayim!

Ashreichem Yisrael!!

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