March 18, 2013

Number of Needy Jews Soars on Eve of Passover

NEW YORK — A record number of 55,000 Jewish households in the New York area will require assistance this Passover, according to William E. Rapfogel, executive director of Metropolitan Jewish Council on Jewish Poverty. “We will also require an additional $500,000 of financial assistance to victims of Sandy,” said Mr. Rapfogel. He emphasized that this was “on top of the $800,000 of financial assistance given to other needy Jews.

Met Council is distributing 2.65 million pounds of kosher food, which surpasses the 2.5 million distributed last year. Officials close to other organizations like Tomchei Shabbos and Keren Aniyim say that demand for assistance this year is well above 2012. This is also the case in many large cities in the US where local Federations are responding to an increased demand. In many markets, the need for extra money stems from sharply higher prices. This is particularly true in Canada where officials say prices have soared this year, which is devastating to a city like Toronto where some 20,000 Jews require assistance.