In what is a well-established community tradition, families in the community of Talmon in Samaria got together last week prior to Rosh Hashanah to prepare food packages for needy members of their community for the upcoming Jewish New Year.
Working side by side with local policemen who volunteered their time, children and their parents came to pack some 120 boxes of food, which included the basics such as sugar and oil, vegetables and fruits, as well as eggs, wine, baked goods and all other essentials needed for a festive holiday meal.
This is the sixth year that the community operation has taken place, and is an event that is commonplace in communities throughout Judea and Samaria including Ofra and Neve Tzuf. The groceries are purchased using donations from the local residents. There are quite a few grandparents involved in the unique endeavor, so that three generations come together to perform this charitable act.
Professor Ariel Levin of Bar Ilan University, who initiated the project, spoke with Tazpit about the necessity of such a venture. “We noticed at some point that there were many families who were receiving support from the social services, but their needs could not be entirely met, so we, as a community, decided to care for our own. I further saw a great opportunity to get children involved in volunteer work, educating them to look out for their peers.”
About 100 volunteers, together with 20 police officers, came to help. Levin said that the police wanted to connect to community they served in, and chose to do so through this extraordinary project. Representatives of all ages each contributed in their own way to packaging task.
Superintendent Moshe, regional police commander of the Benyamin district, told Tazpit that he believed that the police officers’ participation made them better officers, “We all came here after we had finished with our day job,” Moshe told Tazpit News Agency. “This project brings us all together and working side by side enables the officers to become acquainted with the community they serve.” Chief Inspector David Asraf, a police spokesperson, added: “It’s a police tradition that officers help out and volunteer their time before the holidays, ensuring that everyone has a respectable and proper holiday.”