United Synagogue has unveiled a new “Shabbat in a box” service to help members mark the day of rest during the coronavirus lockdown.
The kits contain a freshly cooked Friday night dinner meal, Shabbat lunch and Seuda, delivered weekly, as well as challah, grape juice and printed materials.
Karen Harris, of Woodside Park United Synagogue, said: “When I informed one of our members that she would be getting a Shabbat in a box from the United Synagogue last week she was so relieved it brought tears to my eyes.
“She doesn’t have the resources or energy at the moment to prepare food and she has been really worried about how she was going to eat, especially over Shabbat. It is totally heartwarming to see what difference this makes to people’s lives.”
The movement is also delivering tea, coffee, pasta, soup, and other essentials, to those in need in a bid to combat food poverty. To support the project, online users can purchase items listed on United Synagogue’s Amazon Wish List.
Michelle Minsky, head of the Chesed department, said: “We have been facing ongoing demand to support our most vulnerable members during the lockdown period. Our communities have been identifying people who really need additional support during this time and we have an obligation to help them.
“We are specifically offering these initiatives to those most in need, to members who are self-isolating or who have had difficulty in meeting the costs of their essential food items due to a change in circumstances.”
Over Pesach, United Synagogue brought food parcels to more than 900 vulnerable families and delivered over 1,000 Seder kits.