21 Main Street, Rouxville, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Words from the MD

Alice PhotoI trust that you and your family are well and that you received our acknowledgement of the community’s generosity which made our Pesach Appeal so successful. We chose to send out an impactful photo of the record-breaking hampers which our 580 families were blessed to receive to enable you to share in our achievement because “seeing is believing”!

If you drive past our renovated Bayit, you cannot help but notice the amazing ‘facelift’ to the property, thanks to the generosity of a few benefactors who recognise and appreciate Yad’s undisputed and growing contribution to the welfare of our community. One would expect a transformation of this magnitude to result in a more ‘corporate’ attitude towards our clients, but our allegiance to our mission statement remains steadfast: to serve the needy in our midst with humility, an unfailing spirit of ahavas chesed, compassion, understanding and unconditional respect. Our food parcels feed the body, but our heart feeds the soul!

Pay It Forward is a most wonderful and anonymous way to enable the needy to receive without robbing them of their self-respect. Yad’s unique and personalised modus operandi, makes us an ideal recipient of this genius initiative, be it children giving a donation from their Bar- or Bat-Mitzvah gifts; our suppliers encouraging their customers to contribute towards our orders; or restaurants and coffee shops hosting our families, thereby giving them some time out. To all our benefactors, please take this as a personal acknowledgement of your chesedwhich replenishes our families’ depleted self-worth and I request your permission to single out three such projects which have received positive recognition by the wider community:

1)      Six weeks before Pesach, Moshe’s Butchery came up with a brainwave which would enable their customers to purchase a gift card as a contribution to Yad’s Pesach double meat order. Apart from the fact that our meat would be sponsored, the concept of a customer simply adding the value of the chosen gift card to their till slip made the transaction easy and effortless which is the way to go in our fast-paced world. I had the pleasure of standing by our promotional table in the shop and interacting with interested customers who praised the work undertaken by Yad. The fact that in today’s challenging economic climate no less than R28 116.00 was raised through the purchase of gift cards, mirrors the value which the community places on the mitzvah of Tzedokah, but it goes further than that. Those who contributed to this appeal regard the poor man’s plight as their personal problem in accordance with Hashem’s command “You shall open and continue to open your hand to your brother, to your poor and to your destitute in your land”. Due to the resounding success of this initiative, Yaakov has assured us that this would become a regular event on Moshe’s calendar!

2)      For years, Maxi’s has proactively raised funds to pay towards our Yom Tov meat orders and 1 benefactor alone regularly collects between R15 000 and R20 000 towards this initiative, not to mention Max’s own “under the radar” contributions which he gives so selflessly and with such concern for our families.

3)      The last time I met one of my clients at Frangelica’s, Elana enlightened me about their “Pay it Forward” initiative whereby customers are encouraged to add an item from the Menu onto their bill which is then made available to people for whom meeting a friend for coffee or taking the family out for a light breakfast is otherwise completely off-limits. I was blown away by the idea which fits in so perfectly with our emphasis on the preservation of our clients’ self-esteem and, what better way to empower those in need than to offer them the opportunity to “feel normal”? Kol hakavod Simon and Elana!

Following the unprecedented demand for extra groceries, toiletries and cleaning materials, it is no wonder that the shelves of our in-house Supermarket need to be re-stocked on an on-going basis. Jody, our Marketing Manager, has been very busy distributing “Chesed from the Garden of Eden” shopping bags which children fill and proudly return to school, thereby contributing to this project in a most meaningful way. Trolleys have rolled in this week, filled to the brim with every non-perishable item one could wish for, offering our clients the opportunity to “go shopping” in our Supermarket not only replenishes their depleted pantries, but it empowers them to personally pick what they require and the effect this has on their self-esteem is immeasurable! Yasher koach to all participating Schools for putting the theory of Tzedokah and Chesed into action.

As we get deeper into winter, the popularity of our Soup Kitchen is gaining momentum! It is heart wrenching but rewarding to witness entire families collecting their food parcels so that the children can get a cup of steaming, nutritious soup and a fresh bagel, pita or pie. We are currently running a sponsorship drive to provide the funds needed for this initiative: R420 pays for a pot of soup and R2 200 covers our current weekly costs. Once our renovated Milk, Meat and Parev kitchens become operational in the next couple of weeks, we will be open for lunch Monday to Thursday. I appeal to you to become part of this project by dedicating a pot or a day for a Yahrtzeit or to mark a family Simcha!

On behalf of the staff and Yaddies family, may I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a meaningful and spiritually uplifting Shavuot!

Warm regards,

Alice