Project Isaiah to help the hungry

Project Isaiah, the Jewish community’s annual High Holidays food drive benefiting the Community Food Bank, begins Sept. 1 and runs through Oct. 2.

The project is named for the Prophet Isaiah, who when asked why we fast on Yom Kippur, responded, “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry?” (Isaiah 58:6).

The Jewish Community Relations Council, part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s community engagement department, coordinates the project. Bagged donations may be dropped off at local synagogues and Jewish agencies. Most needed items include peanut butter, cereal and granola bars, canned tomato products, canned meats and vegetables, canned soups, canned fruit, rice and pasta, and beans.

This Tucson Jewish community tradition is reminiscent of similar efforts in Israel, says Oshrat Barel, director of the Weintraub Israel Center and JFSA vice president for community engagement.

“Although gemilut chasadim (often translated as “acts of loving-kindness”) is a way of life of many Israelis every day of the year, the High Holidays is when big national campaigns are run in order to make sure no Israeli will be without holiday meals,” she says, adding, “Giving is a privilege, not an obligation.”

Monetary donations by credit card or check payable to the JCRC may be mailed to Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, Attn: Ori Parnaby, 3822 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718. With each donation of $1, the food bank can distribute food for more than four meals.

To schedule a volunteer date at the Community Food Bank for your organization, call the volunteer office at 882-3292. Friends and families are welcome.

For more information, call Parnaby at 299-3000, ext. 241.