Purim is fast approaching...

Posted on 3/6/2014 by Israel Today
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It is better for a man to increase gifts to the poor (on Purim) than to enlarge his feast and to increase gifts to his friends. For there is no greater and more wonderful joy than to make happy the hearts of the poor..." (Rambam, Hilchot Megillah 2)

Israelis love celebrating Purim — kids get the day off school, in many towns lively Purim parades are organized, and the streets are filled with children dressed up in costume. Israelis of all ages deliver "mishloachei manot" - baskets of prepared food and goodies - to their friends and neighbors.

But about one third of all Israeli children live in poverty and do jnot enjoy the spirit of this holiday if it weren’t for the help of organizations like the ones below. They take the happiness of others to heart during the holiday.

At Gymnasia Rehavia in Jerusalem a creative and educational project was initiated by the 12th grade pupils. They raised money to prepare packages for other children for Purim that are much less fortunate than they themselves. The uniqueness of this project is that is being executed by children for children with the goal to teach them to care for and help others. Additionally, Gymnasium Rehavia decided to turn this project into a secret charity so that the children at the school will learn how to simply give without expecting anything in return. Israel Today donated towards this activity.

Israel today will be preparing 200 packages for distribution at "Beit HaYeled". This is a boarding school for children who are born into a complex reality and environment where they might be exposed to neglect or insufficient care. The institution specializes in reaching and caring for children with ADHD and children that have experienced difficulties in building trust of adults. Each package, lovingly prepared by our team, will contain a special surprise for the children as well as a selection of their favorite sweets to "sweeten" this holiday for them.

Israel Today will be cooperating with the "Amudei HaShalom" non-profit association this Purim. "Amudei HaShalom" helps the socio-economically weaker sectors of society by distributing food to needy every day. They also help rescuing teenage girls in distress and rehabilitate marginalized youth in general. This Purim “Amude Hashalom” will be entertaining children and distributing "mishlochei manot" in three major Jerusalem hospitals, including Hadassa Ein Kerem, Hadassa Har HaTzofim, and Shaarei Tzedek.

By Ora Shapiro

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