ESRAmagazine

End of An Era as Food Pantry Closes its Doors

Nelly Perry ... did wonderful work

Some 15 years ago, Netanya was targeted multiple times by terrorists. Its residents were left not only horrified and bereaved, but economically strained. With tourists keeping away and people less in the mood for shopping, businesses suffered, and those who were financially weak to begin with reached crisis level, struggling to put food on the table.

The situation did not go unnoticed by four women who decided to get together and do something about it. Rika Meyerowitz, Hadassa Birnbaum, Marian Burck and Shiphra Davis decided the best way they could help was to provide food parcels for needy families in the Neot Shaked neighborhood of Netanya – and so the Hand in Hand Food Pantry was born.

Their initiative won enthusiastic support from Avi Faraj, then director of the Neot Shaked Community Center, as well as from ESRA. Working all together, they managed to deliver parcels consisting of basic food staples to hundreds of needy and grateful families. Happily, Netanya has not been the target of terrorism for some time. However, there are still needy families struggling to make ends meet.

Funding for the project was initially provided by generous donations from people both in Israel and abroad. Ten years ago, the project was blessed with the arrival in Israel of Nelly Perry, who adopted the project. And here's where music and food parcels meet. Taking up the slack from donations, Nelly organized yearly concerts featuring the renowned and wonderfully talented composer, conductor and pianist, Gil Shohat, who donated his performances. Proceeds from the very successful concerts kept Hand in Hand Food Pantry going for many years.

Sadly, due to ill health, Nelly Perry is no longer able to continue organizing these concerts. Consequently, Hand in Hand Food Pantry is closing up shop.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish Nelly a full and speedy recovery, and we would like to thank her for the wonderful work she did for the Food Pantry. Thanks also go to our donors, who have helped fund the project over the past 15 years. In particular, we thank Gil Shohat for giving of his time and talent, the Sharon Hotel for providing the venue, and Lightvision for hire of projectors. We would like to thank the Sharon Hotel, Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, Daniel Birnbaum of Soda Stream, and Hayekev Restaurant, who generously donated prizes for our raffle. Finally, we thank all the wonderful volunteers who helped and supported us all the way. 

 

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Thursday, 26 November 2020

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