Passover Food Drive is still on, with collection at Congregation Emanu-El B’Ne Jeshurun

MILWAUKEE — In the midst of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, at least one important tradition will continue this spring — the annual Community Passover Food Drive (Ma’ot Chittim).  

Sami Stein Avner, executive director at Tikkun Ha-Ir of Milwaukee, and one of the co-chairs of the annual food drive, said recently that effort is still expected to go on with some modifications.  

The only confirmed collection site as of Chronicle press time was Congregation Emanu-El B’Ne Jeshurun2020 W. Brown Deer Road, Avner said, though organizers may find one more spot at an outside location.  The food collection receptacle will be located outside of Congregation Emanu-El B’Ne Jeshurun.

Collection is expected to take place through March 30. Distribution of food is currently slated to take place on Sunday, April 5. 

We plan to distribute to a few sites and will ask recipients to tell us where and when they plan to pick up their food. Those sites are not yet confirmed,” Avner said.  

There will likely be two shifts at each distribution location, one from 10 to 11 a.m. and one from 11 a.m. to 12. p.m., she said. 

Products needed for the collection, which must have kosher certification for Passover, include matzo, canned gefilte fish, matzo ball soup mix and grape juice in plastic containers. These basic items will then be supplemented with traditional Passover items.  

In 2019, the drive was able to serve more than 500 individuals and families. 

Previous collection sites, like local synagogues, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Helfaer Community Service Building, and the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, have since been taken off the list given orders from the state banning most facilities where mass gatherings occur. 

Food will also no longer be distributed at the Ovation Jewish Home. 

The Community Passover Food Drive is a joint effort of: Coalition for Jewish Learning & Jewish Community Relations Council, programs of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation; Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center; Hillel Milwaukee; Jewish Community Pantry; Jewish Family Services; Ovation Jewish Home; Rabbi Scheinfeld Maos Chitim Fund; Salinsky Program to Feed the Hungry; Tikkun Ha-Ir of Milwaukee; and Wisconsin Council of Rabbis.