Embracing the Spirit and Meaning of Passover Volunteers, Donors Provide Passover Meal for Gabriel


Observing Passover is a beautiful tradition that requires special food to properly observe the holiday. However, it can be difficult for families living on a limited budget to afford the high cost of Passover food.


To address this challenge, Jewish Family Service is asking individuals and families to donate money or their time to the 22nd annual Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery Project of Jewish Family Service. Volunteers will deliver boxes filled with Passover food on Sunday, March 29, to the homes of vulnerable families and home-bound older adults throughout the Greater Cincinnati region.


“Our goal is to bring together donations and volunteer energy to brighten the Passover holiday for people experiencing financial difficulties and food insecurity,” said Jewish Family Service CEO Liz Vogel.


“I remember meeting Gabriel (a pseudonym) last year,” Vogel continued. “Gabriel, age 11, and his mom, dad, and two sisters were—and still are—suffering financial instability. Which means hunger. I remember his sweetness. I remember the warmth of the hug that his mom gave me. With this help, she said, she was able to embrace her Jewish faith more fully, and her family was able to celebrate Passover.”


A lead sponsorship gift from The Rockwern Charitable Foundation, together with donations from individual community members, will help purchase fresh produce, frozen kosher Passover food, and additional kosher-for-Passover packaged items to make the Passover meal complete. Jewish Family Service has also placed small, table-top barrels in our community’s congregations to collect much-needed funds for the Passover Delivery Project.


Jewish Family Service’s goal is to raise $18,000 by March 20 to purchase this Passover food.


The Passover Delivery Project is held at Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center, located on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in Clifton.


In addition to providing food for Passover, Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry, which is located at the vital support center, provides food throughout the year for families in need. The food pantry is open to the Greater Cincinnati Jewish community, as well as neighbors in the Clifton area. It serves more than 200 households every year and is the only food pantry in the region to offer kosher and non-kosher foods and meat.


“The Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery Project helps many families honor a holiday that is so meaningful to all of us,” said Dan Rapp, JFS Board President. “But we also know that many of these families struggle throughout the year to put food on the table. As we raise funds for Passover, we hope to have enough extra to keep the Heldman Family Food Pantry well stocked for those in our community who don’t have enough food year-round.”


To volunteer for this year’s Passover Delivery Project, contact Beth Kotzin at 513-766-3322 or bkotzin@jfscinti.org. Volunteers can also follow this link to sign up online.

To make an online monetary donation, CLICK HERE.

Jewish Family Service receives support in part from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.