Around the same time members at Temple Emanu-El were fasting for Yom Kippur, they had also been donating food, as the crates on display and filled with food items showed on the night of Sept. 25.
“For far too many people in our community, it's not a choice to fast; it’s not a choice not to have all of the food that they need,” said Rabbi Elaine Glickman.
The food drive, held each year during the High Holidays for All Faiths Food Bank, has been honored by the food bank as the most successful fundraiser and food drive for the past six years, said Glickman.
The High Holy Days begin on Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish new year, and conclude 10 days later on Yom Kippur, a day of atonement and repentance.
Social Action Committee Chair Susan Rosenbaum called All Faiths Food Bank a wonderful nonprofit organization, stating members were glad to support it now more than ever amid current issues in the community with hunger.
She said the process of bringing together the donations has been well-established. During Rosh Hashanah, donation bags are offered. Starting at that time, publicity is sent to congregants and a list of suggested foods, which includes many healthy items, is provided.
“It it feels good; you’re giving, you don’t have to get anything back,” said Social Action Committee member and former Chair Barbara Peltz. “It’s called a true mitzvah, when you do something from your heart, and you don't expect anything in return.”
“It’s a very generous congregation,” said Rosenbaum, noting she hopes that the food drive will continue its winning streak this year.
Following an evening service on Sept. 25, the temple celebrated the breaking of the fast during Yom Kippur with a dinner that featured many traditional dishes including noodle kugel, lox and bagels with cream cheese.
The temple’s sisterhood helped with the event by cooking the food on offer, while its brotherhood provided additional support.
“People love doing this,” said sisterhood member Susan Meisel. “It’s a whole community effort.”