Project H.O.P.E. — Help Our People Everywhere — is a community action project whose major goal is the collection and distribution of food packages to poor and elderly Jews during Passover. Many Jews who cannot afford special holiday foods depend on B'nai B'rith members to provide matzoh and the other Passover staples. To these people the remembrance is often as special as the needed food. Project H.O.P.E. works with the community family service agencies and local Jewish social services and with B'nai B'rith members and synagogue volunteers. Jewish organizations provide the lists of people who need packages and the facilities for collecting, storing, and packing the food. B'nai B'rith volunteers assemble and deliver the packages. Begun in New York, the program has spread to Boston, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Project H.O.P.E. in 2012
Countless boxes of matzah. A generous supply of wine and grape juice. Enough eggs to last the week. Dessert options. While this may seem like a typical Passover grocery list, it is still unattainable to many.
This year, B’nai B’rith’s Project H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Everywhere) once again worked to ensure that many of those in need of assistance—whether because of financial, medical, or mobility reasons, or because of vicinity to a grocer that carries kosher-for-Passover food—were able to celebrate Passover this spring.
B’nai B’rith’s Project H.O.P.E. supplied thousands of kosher-for-Passover food packages to community members who cannot afford the special holiday foods. B’nai B’rith volunteers, in some cases joined by other community groups, delivered food in Philadelphia, Long Island, N.Y., the Bronx, N.Y., Upper Manhattan, Connecticut, and Washington-suburban Maryland and Virginia. B’nai B’rith volunteers also assisted local Jewish family services and synagogues to bring holiday food to needy individuals in their community.
The community action project, created by B’nai B’rith Brooklyn leaders from the former District One in the late 1960s, has expanded to communities throughout the Northeast and across the United States. The recipients include singles, couples, families, assisted living residents and group homes for the disabled.
Hundreds of volunteers pitched in this year to help fund raise and purchase the materials, as well as organize the logistics of packing and delivery, for nearly 3,000 packages of kosher-for-Passover food. These packages included eggs, matzah, gefilte fish, borscht, soup, grape juice, macaroons and in some communities fresh or cooked chicken.
In Philadelphia, 540 families received Passover food. Volunteers from B’nai B’rith, synagogues and BBYO, Nassau-Suffolk Region packed and delivered 270 packages throughout Nassau and Suffolk County in Long Island, N.Y. In the Bronx and Upper Manhattan nearly 700 packages were distributed in cooperation with the Bronx Jewish Community Council. Packing and delivery was coordinated at the B’nai B’rith Project H.O.P.E.–Adelstein Family Senior Housing facility in the Bronx.
In Connecticut, 330 packages were packed at the JCC in New Haven, and then delivered by B’nai B’rith volunteers and representatives from the BBYO Connecticut region, the Masons, and the Boy Scouts. In Virginia, 115 packages were delivered to 40 locations. Participants from local lodges and synagogues in Washington, D.C. and Maryland delivered packages to 500 recipients.
Year after year, Project H.O.P.E. fulfills the B’nai B’rith tenets of helping those in need, and connecting them with the Jewish people.
To all volunteers and donors who make this possible, year after year, we send our thanks and best wishes for a healthy and Happy Passover. For more information please contact Rhonda Love at email@example.com.
The ritual foods of Passover are out of reach for far too many Jews in need every year. That’s when B’nai B’rith International’s Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Everywhere) steps in to provide Passover meals to elderly Jews and Jews in need in several Northeast cities.
B’nai B’rith program organizers and volunteers came together in Philadelphia, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., and the New York metro area. Volunteers performed such tasks as packing the food, breaking down boxes for recycling, loading cars, and, of course, delivering the care packages. For the recipients, many of whom live alone, the food deliveries also provided a welcome bit of company during the holiday.
“Project H.O.P.E. provides a wonderful opportunity for people to come to the aid of those less fortunate who live in their own communities,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs.
Project H.O.P.E. is a vital B’nai B’rith program, which has built on its Brooklyn, N.Y. roots and has expanded to other major population centers in the Northeast during its more than three-and-a-half decades.
“This program brings hope to those in unfortunate circumstances and connects them with the Jewish people, which is the main focus of Passover,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.
“Families recently arrived from countries where borders change daily and Jews are less safe than anyone else,” said Barbara Brenman, coordinator of the project. “We helped, we did it, we brought Passover to all of them. However temporary, we took their thoughts away from their situations.”
To get involved for this Passover, contact B’nai B’rith’s Center for Community Action at 212-490-3290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s not too late to donate. Checks can be made payable to B’nai B’rith International and sent to B’nai B’rith Project H.O.P.E., 801 Second Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10017. Donors can indicate the region they would like to receive their donation.
Project H.O.P.E. depends on donations to purchase the food for each package. To get involved in your community or to make a donation, contact the Center for Community Action at 212-490-3290 or email email@example.com.