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    Zimbabwe Jewish Community Appeal

    Zimbabwe Jewish Community Appeal 

    July 2008

    This is an urgent and desperate appeal to all our readers and especially former members of the Zimbabwe Jewish Community around the world. As the situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate sharply a small committee together with the reputable UK-based charity World Jewish Relief (see www.worldjewishrelief.org.uk) and the well known Jewish Community Foundation (ChaiSouthAfrica - www.chaisouthafrica.com) is appealing to you to reach out and help those whom are left there struggling with dignity to keep going. 

    Today the Zimbabwe Jewish Community numbers some 290 souls – many of whom are elderly and frail – struggling to maintain themselves having lost much of their capital and having seen their monthly income all but disappear due to the grinding economic failure and galloping inflation in Zimbabwe. People who retired comfortably with pensions only a few years cannot afford to buy a loaf of bread with their fixed incomes.  The cost of importing necessary items is prohibitive for many members of the community. In the last two years communal Seders were held for the first time in the community’s venerable history to enable people to participate.

    Food parcels are being arranged and sent to Harare and Bulawayo by the African Jewish Congress in Johannesburg for 160 recipients under the energetic guidance of Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft. In addition Bulawayo people are being invited to take meals at Savyon Lodge - funded by contributions.

    As of this month a single egg cost $ZW 5 billion dollars and many transactions involve so many zeroes that computing the amount is a challenge is in its own right.

    This appeal’s goal will focus on three main areas of assistance :

    • Food, medical distribution and welfare - substantial food parcels are being trucked up to Harare and Bulawayo and distributed to members of the Jewish Community.  Medication and medical treatment and other welfare services are provided to the community via a community welfare committee. Current costs including provision of medical services, purchase of goods, transport, customs  etc approximately USD 10,000 p/mth

    • Savyon Lodge which has 25 residents provides an oasis of peace and security to the aged members of the Jewish Community. Kosher meals are provided to both residents and members of the Jewish community in Bulawayo who are struggling to find and purchase food. Last year a generator was purchased to provide backup electricity due to the numerous power failures and rotting food due to lack of refrigeration. Current costs including food and general supplies trucked from S.Africa approximately USD 10,000

    • Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation has the only full time Rabbi in Zimbabwe (from Israel) and Rabbi David Alima and his wife are doing amazing work to maintain the spirit and morale of the community. They are maintaining daily minyan, schita, chaggim, funerals and help at both Savyon Lodge and Carmel Jewish Day School. Current costs USD 2,000 p/mth

     WJR and ChaiSouthAfrica and individual donors have generously made initial lump sum towards the campaign and your contribution however large or small will make a difference.  

    Please read the appeal letter from the Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft of the African Jewish Congress from the menu on the left of this page - or click here

     Funds will be disbursed directly to the identified projects with full transparency.

     With sincere thanks

     Dave Bloom, Israel

    Also please note that donations can be made in Canada and USA are tax deductible - for details www.chaisouthafrica.com


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