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  KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: January 17, 2006 - יום שלישי, י"ז בטבת, תשס"ו
 
 

Chef to Princes and Paupers

By Sarah Manning
sarah@globalvisionsisrael.com   

During the busy festival season, you might have thought that the Executive Chef of a fully-booked five-star hotel would have enough work on his plate. But Gavriel Shachar, of the Dan King David Hotel in Jerusalem, decided that it was important to volunteer at Hazon Yeshaya’s Soup Kitchen instead. 

Every day Hazon Yeshaya serves hot, nutritious meals to 7,000 Israelis who have nothing else to eat. This includes children from poor families, Holocaust survivors whose pensions do not cover the cost of living, and poverty-stricken people from every sector of Israeli society who just can’t afford to buy food. Every single recipient is verified by Hazon Yeshaya’s social workers, and they are just part of the picture of grinding poverty of which most supporters of Israel are unaware. 

The latest National Insurance Institute statistics show that 23.6% of Israel’s population are classified as poor - an increase of 7.5% since 2003.  One in three Israeli children lives below the poverty line – that’s 714,000 children living in hunger and neglect or a 50% increase in child poverty over the last 15 years. Even those who work are suffering, because Israel’s economic growth has not helped the lowest 30% of the population. 

Chef Gavriel Shachar himself grew up in a poor home with insufficient food to eat, which is why he chose a career in catering to lift himself out of poverty. He identifies with the work of Hazon Yeshaya because they not only feed the poor but they also run vocational training courses to help Israelis take the step from welfare to work. As well as feeding thousands of children in schools, Hazon Yeshaya also runs afternoon clubs where children can get help with their school work instead of roaming aimlessly on the streets. 

Israel’s municipalities turn to Hazon Yeshaya for help but no government money comes their way. Federations don’t like to support soup kitchens, which leaves Hazon Yeshaya to raise its budget the hard way. That’s why they are launching their Hunger Challenge and enlisting the help of those who work with kosher food to aid Israel’s poor and starving citizens. 

For more information about Hazon Yeshaya and the Hunger Challenge, visit www.hazonyeshaya.org.

Click here to read more articles!

 

 
     
 
 
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