B’nai B’rith Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Everywhere)

B’nai B’rith Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Everywhere)
3213 Burn Brae Drive, Dresher, PA 19025

Contact: Samuel Domsky, Chair samuel@netreach.net

Project H.O.P.E. works with the community family service agencies and local Jewish social services and with B’nai B’rith members and synagogue volunteers. Jewish organizations provide the lists of people who need packages and the facilities for collecting, storing, and packing the food. B’nai B’rith volunteers assemble and deliver the packages. Begun in New York, the program has spread to Boston, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Last year in Philadelphia, 540 families received Passover food.

As a once a year Mitzvah Project, the Sunday before Passover, deliver Kosher for Passover food to our most needy, elderly and isolated Jews in the Philadelphia Region. The Project involves planning, fundraising, and volunteers to ensure success annually.

Caring Congregants at Congregation Beth Or

Caring Congregants at Congregation Beth Or
Contact: Beth Apter, bethapter@verizon.net and Ellen Werther, ekwfarm@comcast.net 215 266-5906

Prepare dinners/breads/soups/desserts to be distributed to congregants who have experienced a loss, are recovering from an illness, or who are new parents. Meals are needed (with ingredients listed-low salt preferred) on an ongoing basis. They are stored in the downstairs freezer at Beth Or.


Family-to-Family, Inc.
6 Circle Dr. Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706

Contact:  Pam Koner, 914-478-0756, pkoner@family-to-family.org

Family-to-Family, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit 501(c)(3) hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to providing food, personal hygiene products and other basic life essentials to American families struggling with the challenges of poverty.

By connecting donors one-to-one with specific families in need, Family-to-Family’s mission is to bring a large and seemingly intractable problem – poverty – into personal focus, making proactive, attainable results possible…one family at a time.

Our kid’s projects provide children with hands-on giving experiences, concrete forms of giving. These projects are intended to embed generosity of spirit and compassion into the fabric of our children’s lives. We hope through the “doing” children will learn that concern for others can be demonstrated through simple acts of kindness. We call this ‘living empathy’.

Kids-to-Kids—Kids are different from grown-ups. And we know that by being a kid, you have ideas and feelings that are unique to you. Sometimes the adults around you don’t quite see what you see.

Like… when you see someone suffering, you might want to offer your help, or when you hear about a natural disaster you wish there was something you could do. Here at Family-to-Family, we’ve come up with a number of different ways to help you help others, right here in the U.S.

1. Join The Birthday Giving Project
Put a birthday in a box! A way for kids with more to help kids with “less” have birthday celebrations.

2. Hold a Birthday Giving Party
Celebrate your birthday by giving to others.

3. Participate in Books For Life
Collect and send gently used books to where they are most needed.

4. Join Kids Can! or One Can at a Time!
Organize your school to adopt a local food pantry.

5. Start a Breakfast Club
Collect and deliver breakfast foods to a local food pantry.

6. Be a part of Seeds for Change
Gather and send packets of vegetable or fruit seeds to help families in need grow their own food.

7. All Dolled Up!
Repurpose your like-new dolls and their clothes for another child.

These programs are ideal for school, scouting or religious service projects. Email us at: kids@family-to-family.org with any questions–we are happy to help!

JCC Klein Home Delivered Meals

10100 Jamison Ave, Phila Pa
Contact:  Lisa Sandler, 215 698-7300 x197lsandler@kleinjcc.org

“Serving Up Meals, Driving Out Hunger!”  The JCC Klein Home Delivered Meals Program serves seniors, who are unable to shop and/or prepare their own meals, so no senior goes hungry.  Volunteers support the program by providing a friendly visit, preparing for deliveries, and help to cook meals.  This is done in partnership with the Cook For a Friend network in the Philadelphia region.
For your mitzvah or teen community service project, the Klein JCC is in need of:
1.  Food sorters and packers.  Pick a day when your school has inservice, or on a Federal Holiday and contact Lisa Sandler to coordinate times.
2.  Breakfast bags:  Collect items which go into breakfast bags from your friends and family.  Pack the bags for distribution with food deliveries.  
3.  Deliveries:  Ask a parent/guardian to help you deliver food packages to those in need.

Jewish Relief Agency (JRA)

Jewish Relief Agency (JRA)
10980 Dutton Rd., Phila., PA 19154

Contact: Melissa Samen, Group and B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator 610 660-0190 melissa@jewishrelief.org

The mission of the Jewish Relief Agency is to assist families according to their individual needs. Two distinct volunteer opportunities are available for mitzvah projects:

Food Packing and Delivery: One Sunday per month, volunteers of all ages and abilities gather to pack and deliver food to families in the Greater Philadelphia area. Box making and produce packing take place from 8am to 10am, box packing from 10am to about 11:30/11:45am, and food delivery starting at 10:30am. Times are flexible with this community service project.

JRAid: As a volunteer, you decide how you want to help, pick the days and times you are available, and how you want to be notified. When a gig (an opportunity) matching your preferences becomes available, you are notified of a gig that may be of interest to you. Gigs include friendly phone calls and visits, Holiday meal preparation, raking leaves, shoveling snow, wishing someone a happy birthday, Spring clean-up, micro-donations, and more. For more information and to sign up, visit www.jraid.org.

Manna on Main Street of Lansdale

Manna on Main Street of Lansdale

713 W. Main St. Lansdale, PA 19446

Contact:  Suzan Neiger Gould, Exec. Dtr., execdir@mannaonmain.org 215-855-5454

Manna on Main Street of Lansdale is committed to ending hunger in the North Penn region by providing food, fulfilling social service and education needs, and conducting community outreach. Through a food pantry and soup kitchen, emergency financial aid, counseling and referrals, and education opportunities, we serve those in need with the hope “that everyone might be fed.”
Manna’s vision is “that everyone might be fed.” Help us fulfill this vision by getting involved in this community service!
Our dedicated helpers bring food, while others come to Manna’s kitchen to serve dishes to our neighbors. Some volunteers, who do this for their bar or bat mitzvah project, donate healthy after school snacks, while others help guests bag and carry their groceries. Whether they are bar or bat mitzvahs,  Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, summer volunteers, or service groups, Manna is grateful for the unique talents of each volunteer.
If you would like to serve in our food pantry, soup kitchen or help our team with special projects with a group, please email Janae Hoffler, Education and Volunteer Coordinator, at Janae@mannaonmain.org.  We welcome volunteers age 13+. Groups interested in volunteering should contact Janae Hoffler at least one month in advanced in order to secure desired date(s).

Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger

Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger
10495 Santa Monica Blvd. #100 Los Angeles, CA 90025

Contact: Rosalie Licht- Project Coordinator rlicht@mazon.org 310 442 0020

Founded in 1985, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is the only national Jewish nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing and alleviating hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds. It is essential to educate Jewish youth as they become our future leaders. Part of MAZON’S mission is to raise the consciousness of the Jewish community regarding its obligation to provide and advocate for people who are in need. The MAZON Tzedakah project is designed to engage, inspire and educate students as participants in hunger relief advocacy.

Volunteer opportunities: For your mitzvah project you can have a bake sale. Send proceeds to MAZON as tzedakah, and donate any leftover goods to your local food bank or food pantry. As a community service you can donate canned goods for a canned food sale; proceeds can be sent to MAZON, and the canned food donated to a local food bank or food pantry. Collect books and then sell the books to benefit MAZON.

Mitzvah Circle Foundation

Mitzvah Circle Foundation
P.O. Box 2130 Blue Bell PA 19422
Contact:   Fran Held, Founder and Executive Director, 484-897-0414,  info@mitzvahcircle.org

Mitzvah Circle is a non-profit organization that provides support, hope and dignity to individuals and families during times of crisis, poverty, homelessness and serious illness.
We assist people who have fallen through the cracks, removing barriers to meaningful help and resources. We provide individualized support such as clothing, school supplies, diapers, household items, food and referrals.

We respond without discrimination—fulfilling basic human needs with compassion, to truly make a difference for people who are walking along life’s edge.

Bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah project volunteers and their families can participate in a variety of activities at our warehouse including homeless outreach, diaper bank, adopt-a-class, care packages, hats for homeless and more!

Groups and individual teen volunteers can participate in our Classroom4Good by collecting diapers, personal care items, socks, underwear & pajamas or helping our homeless outreach by creating snack bags, drawing inspirational messages and making lunches.

Volunteers can participate in our food project Monday-Friday weekly.
Our warehouse is open for volunteer help on T,W,Th and some Sundays,  8:30am-noon.

Penn Hillel Soup Kitchen

Penn Hillel Soup Kitchen
215 S. 39th Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Contact:  Allison Resnick, Volunteer Coordinator, 215-898-7391, atr@sas.upenn.edu

The Soup Kitchen at Hillel convenes every evening from in Hillel’s Falk Dining Commons at Steinhardt Hall. Night Soup Kitchen is a space for community guests and Penn volunteers to get to know each other over a warm meal and friendly environment. Each Sunday, our dedicated volunteers arrive before dinner to set up the dining hall and make packaged lunches for our guests that they can eat the next day. When the doors open, volunteers first serve the guests and then – everybody’s favorite part – get to sit down and converse with them. In this informal setting, volunteers and guests build enduring relationships. Each individual, from Penn freshmen to middle-aged construction workers and seniors who may be having financial problems, brings unique stories and perspectives to the dinner table.

Hillel Soup Kitchen: Warm food, warm hearts, warm souls.

For your mitzvah project,  you may organize a collection drive for toiletries, warm winter clothing, and grocery store certificates.

If you would like to join us as a volunteer at our Sunday evening dinners, please contact our volunteer coordinator and arrive with a parent or guardian.


Sunday Suppers

Sunday Suppers
2950 Memphis St, Philadelphia, PA 19134

Contact: Linda Samost, director  linda@sundaysuppersphilly.org, 215-223-2220  ext.100

Sunday Suppers’ (SS) mission is to strengthen the health and well-being of families through the transformative power of family meals.  SS is an inventive program that addresses and then reaches beyond food access by reintroducing the family meal which, with related support, has been shown to strengthen families in deep and lasting ways.  Coaching is provided so that once families gain access to healthy food they can prepare delicious and nutritious meals to share around their dinner table.   SS helps families make enduring lifestyle changes including increasing access and utilization of healthy foods, eating together more often, learning healthier ways to cook and enhancing family communication.

Every week families gather at Memphis Street Academy to share family style meals on tables with tablecloths and fresh flowers, china and silverware.  Participants turn off their cell phones and are encouraged to try all of the food. At the end of the meal, each family leaves with all the items and recipes needed to create another family meal, thereby reinforcing the model and providing the means for families to replicate it in their own at home.  Other parts of the program include:
•        weekly programming around relevant topics (e.g., food preparation, nutrition, exercise)
•        cooking skill development
•        increased access to healthy food and food assistance
•        provision of (donated) kitchen supplies
•        community gardening

As a volunteer or for your mitzvah project, you will be able to help on the following days/times:

Wednesdays 2:00pm – 5:30pm
During your time you will be prepping all the food needed for the Sunday Supper meal on Thursday. Washing produce, slicing and dicing, mixing… everything we need based on the menu for the next day. No experience necessary! We provide credit for high school community service hours.  College students welcome.

Thursdays 2:30pm-7pm
You will set dining room tables, help in the kitchen with getting the food out, help with last-minute food preparation, serve dinner to families, bus tables, wash dishes, and help with children’s activities. Then at the end of the evening we clean the dining area and kitchen. High school students can get credit towards community service hours.  College students welcome.

The Mitzvah Food Project

The Mitzvah Food Project
2100 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19143

Contact: Drisana Davis, Food Project Manager, Deirdre Mulligan, Food Project Associate 215 832-0509 foodproject@jfgp.org

The Mitzvah Food Project has varying volunteer opportunities to be involved in community service including packing food packages, delivering food packages, etc. Please fill out an online volunteer form for this mitzvah project at http://www.jewishphilly.org/mfp I want to help>Volunteer Registration form and you will be emailed or called with additional details for the pantry site closest to you and your individual interests. The food pantry locations are listed below:

  • Beth Sholom Congregation, 8231 Old York Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027
  • Kaiserman JCC, 45 Haverford Rd., Wynnewood, PA 19096
  • Congregation Tifereth Israel of Lower Bucks County, 2909 Bristol Rd., Bensalem, PA 19020
  • Klein JCC, 10100 Jamison Ave., Phila, PA 19116
  • Stiffel Senior Center, 604 Porter St., Phila., PA 19148
  • Shir Ami Synagogue, 101 Richboro Rd., Newtown, PA 18940

The Passover League

The Passover League
215 N. Presidential Boulevard, 1st floor, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Contact: Paul M. Perlstein, Esq. or Brian M. Levine 610 660-0530 info@passoverleague.org

The Passover League, founded in 1933, is supported by volunteers and many Philadelphia charitable organizations. Its mission is to help needy individuals and families celebrate the Passover holiday. Seders, funded by The Passover League, are held throughout various Delaware Valley locations. These seders reach thousands of individuals who would normally be unable to celebrate the traditional Passover holiday. The Passover League also serves Jewish veterans in various local hospitals.  Additionally, kosher meals are served through The Passover League to homebound seniors.

B’nai mitzvah students (for their mitzvah project or community service project) may help by raising charitable dollars through a Matzah drive or other creative fundraiser or help with the Golden Slipper Seder. Contact The Passover League to see how you can make an impact on their mission.