Rank and File: Leket Raises $400,000 to Help the Needy in Israel

Steve Klein
Steven Klein
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Leket Israel celebrating 15 years of service to Israel's needy at its annual donor event in Ra'anana, December 22, 2018.
Leket Israel celebrating 15 years of service to Israel's needy at its annual donor event in Ra'anana, December 22, 2018.Credit: YOSSEF COHEN
Steve Klein
Steven Klein

FEEDING THE NEEDY: Leket Israel – The National Food Bank hosted its annual donor event at its Ra’anana logistics center on Saturday night, when guests from Israel and abroad helped raise 1.5 million shekels (nearly $400,000). “The night was not only about reflecting on Leket Israel’s growth over the last 15 years but focused on looking toward the future,” said Joseph Gitler, Leket Israel’s founder and chairman. “Without the assistance of 57,000 annual volunteers, our dedicated supporters and our generous food donors, Leket Israel would not be able to provide nutritious food to 175,000-plus needy Israelis weekly,” he added. Among the honored guests were former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and MK Eli Alalouf (Kulanu), who is chairman of the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee. Through its efforts, Leket Israel rescued 2.2 million surplus hot meals and over 13 million kilograms of produce for the needy in 2018.

TALKING DEMOCRACY: After losing their beloved son Rami three and a half years ago at the age of 46, Joe and Miriam Wernik sought a venue to memorialize him. Thus, they founded the current lecture series Democracy in Israel – Challenges and Hopes. “Rami was a lover of the Jewish people and of Israel,” Miriam Wernik, who hails from Philadelphia, told Haaretz. “Ever the educator, he espoused the tenets of democracy as core values, both in his personal and professional lives.” The next lecture features Haim Koren, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, who will speak next Wednesday on “An Introduction to the Minorities in Israel.” The final meeting on January 9 will be a panel discussion featuring Yosef Nasser Al Din, chair of the Druze-Zionist Movement in Israel, jurist Amir Assi and IDC Herzliya law professor Amin Ramadan. Both lectures will take place (in Hebrew) in Jerusalem’s Kehillat Ramot Zion. For more information, call 052-384-7098.

PLANNING NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM: Here Next Year, in partnership with Nefesh B’Nefesh, hosted its fifth annual Israel Fair last Saturday in Jerusalem. The fair is designed to help young potential immigrants, currently in their gap year, explore their potential futures in Israel. Representatives from Nefesh B’Nefesh, the Israel Defense Forces and Sherut Leumi national service programs were at the fair, as well as officials from local universities and colleges. Recent immigrants also attended to share their own personal experiences and act as peer resources for the students. “It is an incredibly special night at the Here Next Year Israel Fair,” said Marc Rosenberg, director of pre-aliyah at Nefesh B’Nefesh. “To be with nearly 500 young people, together exploring future options in Israel, is just an amazing sight to behold,” added Rosenberg, who grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein. 

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