Some years ago, before email and text messages, I was following up on a meeting notice with a phone call to one of the...
The B’nai B’rith International Center for Community Action
helps serve Jewish communities and the world, providing disaster relief and services to those in need, promoting respect for others, celebrating diversity and offering a helping hand.
From Sri Lanka to New Orleans to Israel, B’nai B’rith members and supporters have provided the funds to aid areas after a disaster, seeking to fill the needs that might otherwise be overlooked. In local communities around the world, B’nai B’rith volunteers reach out to the sick, the needy and those hurt by intolerance and indifference.
The projects of B’nai B’rith International promote volunteerism and the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam—the repair of the world in which we live.
B’nai B’rith provides many community programs in which local members and friends of the organization can participate.
These programs involve daily food collections and annual holiday food deliveries for those in need. Programs also provide recognition of first responders and support children in need.
Service projects such as Pinch Hitters are held on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to allow workers and volunteers to celebrate with their families while B’nai B’rith volunteers step in to assist.
B'nai B'rith Cares for Kids
B’nai B’rith Cares for Kids is a community service project launched in 1997 that has provided tens of thousands of teddy bears (aka Buddy Bears) and other stuffed animals to children who are facing difficult health and family situations.
Recipients include children in the hospital, as well as those involved in family and child services programs. As part of our disaster relief project during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, volunteers delivered B’nai B’rith Buddy Bears to evacuees. B’nai B’rith volunteers also delivered Buddy Bears to children at a New Orleans health clinic.
Program volunteers collect new teddy bears at community locations or purchase them with donated funds.
Since 2002, Sam Schloss Lodge has delivered approximately 32,000 bears and other stuffed animals to community service agencies in Memphis over the years.
Project H.O.P.E.—Help Our People Everywhere—is a community action project that collects and distributes food packages for 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 the recipients, being remembered is often as special as the needed food. Project H.O.P.E. works with local community family services agencies, 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. Hundreds of volunteers pitch in to help raise funds and purchase the materials, as well as organize the logistics of packing and delivering kosher-for-Passover food for close to 2,600 households each year.
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 for many.
Launched in the 1960s by B’nai B’rith leaders in Brooklyn, New York, the program has expanded to communities throughout the Northeast and across the United States. The recipients include singles, couples, families, assisted living residents and residents of group homes for the disabled.
Each year, B’nai B’rith’s Project H.O.P.E. works to ensure that many of those in need of assistance—whether because of financial, medical, or mobility reasons, or because they don’t live near a grocery store that carries kosher-for-Passover food—are able to celebrate Passover.
B’nai B’rith’s Project H.O.P.E. supplies thousands of kosher-for-Passover food packages to community members in in Philadelphia, Long Island, N.Y., the Bronx, N.Y., Manhattan, Connecticut, and in the Washington, D.C. close in suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.
Year after year, Project H.O.P.E. fulfills the B’nai B’rith tenets of helping those in need.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.