TAKING care of people in hunger is set to become a high priority across the Jewish community, with Mazon Australia planning to expand its operations, after three decades of informal ties to the Union for Progressive Judaism.
Mazon Australia chair Ellen Frajman said Mazon (Hebrew for sustenance) is in talks with various congregations, Jewish schools and community organisations around Australia, which have shown an interest in its plans for three annual food appeals and other initiatives.
Beginning some 30 years ago as an offshoot of an American Jewish community program, Mazon Australia, whose tagline is “a Jewish Response to Hunger”, seeks to alleviate hunger and malnutrition among people of all faiths and backgrounds.
“We believe Mazon Australia should be supported by the whole Jewish community,” Frajman told The AJN, adding that the organisation has launched an expanded new website and now has a Facebook page.
Frajman, who took over the reins last year from Sydney’s Rabbi Gary Robuck, has announced three appeals a year from Mazon Australia – a Pesach Chametz appeal, which will donate chametz to people in need; a Shavuot soup appeal, which will see organisations making and distributing soup to the hungry; and the Succot Mazon Bag appeal, which is already well known, and involves shules distributing large paper bags around Rosh Hashanah for congregants to fill with groceries and return by Succot.
“We’ve focused on the three harvest festivals – Pesach, Shavuot and Succot – as this is the time when Jewish tradition says we should be sharing the food we have,” Frajman said.
Mazon Australia will also launch a program encouraging people with simchas to donate three per cent of the total they spend on their happy event, so that food can be acquired for those in need.
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