JFSLA Celebrates Passover
Throughout April, JFSLA partnered with two synagogues, Adat Shalom and Valley Beth Shalom, to deliver Passover groceries to more than 200 survivors of the Holocaust, and hosted Passover Seders for our clients at our various dining centers.
On April 2nd and 3rd, more than 60 JFSLA volunteers and synagogue members drove across Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley to deliver donated Passover groceries to survivors.
“‘Never again’ cannot only be a phrase we hear once each year. It should be a rallying cry by which we live our lives on a daily basis,” said Nolan Lebovitz, Rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom. “Part of that responsibility is memory, and part of that responsibility is offering continued love and support for our survivors as well.” Nolan has helped the synagogues organize the grocery deliveries since 2021. This year, he witnessed more than 50 synagogue members help pack the grocery bags for survivors who live in the Valley.
Altogether, synagogue members at Valley Beth Shalom and Adat Shalom prepared more than 350 grocery bags with kosher food including matzo, gefilte fish, cake mixes, and a bouquet of flowers for each household.
“We have an amazing partnership with Western Kosher. We purchased the majority of the food from them, and they delivered the food pallets to the synagogue for packing,” said Renalee Pflug, Executive Director at Adat Shalom. “The food cost is offset by donations from the Adat Shalom community. The Adat Shalom community feels a deep connection to survivors of the Holocaust, many of whom are survivors themselves.”
Two survivors, who are a couple, expressed that they had no family in the state and felt cared for after the groceries were delivered. One survivor kept the booklet of prayers that was included in the bag of groceries and felt thankful that JFSLA and the community thinks of them. Others simply felt joy at seeing people walk through their door.
“Many live alone and some are not able to leave their homes very well. This makes this personal delivery all the more special,” said Kimiko Kelly, JFSLA Director of the Arts, Wellness, and Engagement Program, who organized the delivery routes for volunteers. “We thank everyone involved and look forward to many more years of being able to provide these special gifts during Passover season.”
A similar excitement was felt at the Passover seders hosted by the JFS Senior Nutrition Program. More than 140 clients attended the seder at the Jona Goldrich Multipurpose Center, the Valley Storefront Community Resource Center, and the Fairfax Senior Citizen Center. Clients enjoyed a freshly cooked meal prepared by the Hirsh Family Kosher Kitchen, which included matzo ball soup, herb garlic roasted chicken, carrot tzimmes, and a citrus salad.
“Just as all holidays we celebrate throughout the year, it is a time for our senior community to come together and enjoy one another,” said Siri Perlman, JFSLA Director of Senior Nutrition Services. “Many of our clients grew up having seders and enjoying them with their families, but some may no longer have family to celebrate with. Others may not be Jewish themselves but enjoy learning about the holiday and eating the customary food. It was a wonderful celebration for all who attended.”
To learn more about JFSLA’s Food and Hunger services, including the Senior Nutrition Program, please visit jfsla.org/our-services/food-hunger/. For more information about participating in the Senior Meal Program please call 323-937-5843.