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|Svetlana with city employee registering all recipients|
Approximately half of the needy recipients are brand new immigrants who recently just left the Jewish exile, returning from Ukraine, France, Cuba, Argentina, Paraguay and Hungary. Many of the Ukrainians fled the war zone in their homeland, with barely the clothes on their back. French Jews are fleeing increasing anti-Semitism in larger and larger numbers.
The fall and spring Biblical festival seasons provide the opportunity to reach out more broadly - to 700 needy households, including elderly widows and new immigrant families. This September members of our congregation, together with a team of volunteers from Tennessee, labored lovingly to pack blue bags with food items, assembly line style. Then, just before Rosh Hashana, a city welfare official sat together with our Svetlana for hours on end confirming each "customer" as they received their special holiday food basket. We praise God for the privilege to offer this very practical gesture of God's blessing into the surrounding community.
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