On Tuesday, 150 members of the Jewish Reform Movement, in cooperation with the "Kavod Foundation" gathered in Jerusalem to assist with the packing of canned goods and other provisions to be delivered during the holiday to needy Muslims in East Jerusalem.
Yoav Shprank, a member of the organization told Ynet that the Kavod Foundation is working all year to help Jews, Christians, and Muslims during the holidays. As an example, the Reform movement donated 2,000 food boxes to the welfare offices, and they are also planning a substantial food donation in preparation for Christmas.
The director of the youth movement who participated in the packaging of the goods Yaniv Gliksman said that as a part of their activities they always speak about pluralism which is one of their most central values. According to him, there is a need to help everyone who lives in Israel because there are sectors of the population nobody tends to. Despite their wishes, the youths who participated in the packing will not take part in the actual distribution of the packages because they do not have permission to enter East Jerusalem.
Youth movement children packing goods (Photo: Haim Tzach)
In addition to East Jerusalem, the food will be distributed to Muslim communities in Jaffa, Haifa, and Shfaram, and will total 250 packages worth NIS 100 (roughly USD 23) each.
The youth movement which participated in the drive is a part of the "Kol Haneshama" community who are active in the German Settlement and Bakaa neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Rabbi Gilad Kariv of the Reform movement explains that "one of the most important values of the movement is equality, and so they work in all sectors of Israeli society. Just as we have food drives before Rosh Hashanah and Passover, it is important for us as Jews to help non-Jewish families in Israel celebrate their holidays with respect."
Rabbi Kariv also adds that he believes the fact a Muslim family will receive the packages from religious Jewish families in Israel "will contribute to change the atmosphere in Israel."