October 31, 2014   7 Cheshvan 5775
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Donating Chametz
Mar. 3, 2009
The Passover ritual of removing leavened products from the home provides an opportunity to collect soup kitchen donations.

Community Contact Information:
www.rac.org/pubs/holidayguides/passover2

Goals:

  • Participate in the Passover ritual of removing chametz (leavened food products) from the home before the holiday begins. 
  • Connect this Passover ritual to acts of social justice. 
  • Assist those who are in need in your local community.


Overview:
The ritual of chametz removal/searching takes place before Passover begins. In a sense, this is the Jewish equivalent of “spring cleaning,” for we thoroughly clean the entire house in a search for leavened products, down to the smallest crumb. This ritual serves as an opportunity to hosts a synagogue-wide food drive to donate to a local food pantry or soup kitchen.

Preparation:
To encourage the congregation to donate during Passover, send a flyer to each family explaining the project. This informational one-sheet should include: 

  • Explanation of the ritual of chametz removal 
  • When/where donations will be collected 
  • Where donations will be distributed 
  • Informational “blurb” about this project that can be shared during their family’s Passover Seder.

Project Implementation:
Advertising can take place in the synagogue bulletin, on the website, as a mailing to all congregants, in religious schools, at board and auxiliary meetings and at events. Volunteers should be recruited to staff donation collection tables at high-traffic times (e.g. religious school drop-off). Volunteers will be needed to package donations and deliver to appropriate shelters/pantries.

Results:
Hosting a Chametz food drive allows us to act upon the command to “let all who are hungry come and eat.” It serves as a reminder to us of those who search daily for a nutritional meal to sustain themselves and their families.

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