So many of our favorite customs and traditions (religious or otherwise) involve food and eating. I am always mesmerized by the memory that certain smells from the kitchen can incite in me. My grandmother who was born in northern Italy and immigrated to Ellis Island in the 1920’s was one of the best cooks I have ever known. She made a pasta sauce (or gravy as us Italians like to call it) like nobody else. It’s a day long process to make it perfect, but it was always worth it. I remember being a kid and sitting in her kitchen to observe and help so that I could one day make it myself. My grandmother passed away in November a few years back at the age of 98 and I was charged with cooking Grandma’s pasta at the next holiday celebration. When my mother came into the house, within seconds started crying because the house smelled like her mother’s house. The aroma brought back so many memories. Without a doubt you can each think of a family dish that incites so many emotions and memories.
Food! It’s what keeps us alive, healthy and together. During the High Holidays, so much of our family gatherings revolve around food: Honey cake for Rosh Hashanah; kugel at Break the Fast following Yom Kippur, chicken and golden rice on Shabbat, the novelty of eating a picnic in the Sukkah, where it’s always either too hot or too cold.
For many of us, a plethora of food is something we take for granted and we seldom think about those who may struggle to feed themselves or their families. Since we are not able to dine together at school for the chagim, Yavneh will be participating in a perishable food drive for the Ecumencal Hunger Project in East Palo Alto. In the past, Yavneh has always supported Second Harvest. We made the decision this year to collect for the Ecuumencal Food Project because 2nd Harvest is no longer collecting food – only cash donations via their website. And while cash donations have a profound impact on helping fight hunger, we want your students to have the experience of bringing a can or box of food so that they can physically experience setting the food in a box and seeing the amount of love we are collecting for those in need.
The Eccumical Food Program is an organization that has a wide reach in our community. Their mission is to ensure that everyone has access to healthy food no matter their socio economic status or race. Food insecurity is a real problem everywhere and Yavneh is thrilled to be living true to its fundamental belief of partnership.
Thank you for helping instill the important value of tikkun olam – restoring the world – with your child during the chagim. If you’d like to learn more about the important work that is being done at the Ecumencal Hunger Program, please visit their website.