Jewish New Year kicks off to a sweet start with hundreds of Rosh Hashanah packages made and distributed by GIFT volunteers

20/09/22Jewish New Year kicks off to a sweet start with hundreds of Rosh Hashanah packages made and distributed by GIFT volunteers

Across London, Manchester and Israel, GIFT works to develop a meaningful sense of responsibility for others while simultaneously helping individuals and families in need. Their food packing initiative is a tangible and meaningful opportunity to help and connect with others.   

For almost two decades, they have inspired over 30,000 volunteers and distributed over 500,000 essential food parcels. These past three years, GIFT has seen a significant surge in their warehouse volunteers. With a 40% increase in food referrals since March 2020, acts of giving to those in need are intensifying.   

As GIFT is currently supporting more than 400 households, with regular deliveries, it continues to make the joy of giving and receiving possible throughout the community’s most predominant time of the year: the month of Tishri. Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday; 10 families & various individuals gathered to pack over 1,000 food support parcels specifically for Rosh Hashana, including honey cakes, grape juice, jars of honey and boxes of Yom Tov candles, together with the standard dry bags, fresh fruit, vegetables and challah packages, to ensure a sweet start to the year 5783.  

One service user fed back “Thank you GIFT for your constant support, care & attention. I’m incapacitated and my condition means I’m unable to get out, even to the shops. Your food parcels are always varied, thoughtful and help me get through the week and the Rosh Hashanah bag is such a treat! I also really look forward to the volunteer’s visit as it’s often my only contact with another person.” 

Viviane Goldsmith together with her family came to pack support parcels on Sunday. They have been volunteering for the last 4 years in various capacities. Her husband Jeremy collects food weekly from the local Sainsbury’s GIFT collection box and her 5 children have enjoyed packing at the Giving Hub.  

 “We having been volunteering with GIFT for a number of years and each time our kids are left feeling inspired and wanting to do more to help the community. What is so special about GIFT is that kids are able to instantly make the connection between packing the food and it reaching those in need.” 

Food parcel packing remains an enjoyable family activity and a popular initiative at GIFT.

In the same spirit, GIFT’s education team joined Finchley Federation Synagogue in making up Rosh Hashanah packages, designed cards together with Connect Borehamwood, and decorated honey jars with Bushey Shul. Yavneh students who were present that day provided 100 GIFT families with honey cake recipes for the New Year. Families and students noted this was the highlight of their day and inspired them to do even more.  

GIFT’s Manchester branch organised a Rosh Hashana parcel wrapping session on Tuesday 20th September alongside King David High School students. GIFT’s Israel branch has initiated the creation of thousands of Rosh Hashanah cards designed by children in schools across the country to be given to soldiers and their families.  

To get involved in GIFT’s volunteering initiatives, contact volunteer@jgift.org.

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"Only a life lived for others is worth living"
Albert Einstein