By Erin Levi


On Sunday, the Queens Jewish Community Council (QJCC) convened some 35 volunteers and staff at the Forest Hills Jewish Center (106-06 Queens Blvd.) to help assemble and distribute Passover food packages to approximately 300 families in need.
The initiative, held annually in collaboration with the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), is more vital than ever amid soaring food costs and inflation.
«Happy to stop by and lend a helping hand,» the UJA’s David Aronov shared on facebook. Diana Rachnaev, CEO of Yesodot, was also there as a volunteer.
«This distribution for our holiday is a lifesaver. It is helping us bring this holiday in for big families,» said Brooklyn resident Shulem Felberbaun, a volunteer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, one of the Met Council’s 250 distribution sites across the tri-state area, speaking to PIX11.
Millions of pounds of produce, chicken, eggs, and potatoes were among the items distributed, all of which were donated, as confirmed by David Greenfield, CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.
In fact, it’s in the biggest food distribution in the entire country.

«Passover is the Jewish equivalent of Thanksgiving, except that Thanksgiving is one day and Passover is eight days. So imagine the stress making Thanksgiving for eight days,» said Greenfield.
The Met Council plans to feed more than 300,000 people living in more than 60,000 households for this major Jewish holiday. The QJCC, now in its 56th year, serves as a non-denominational, equal opportunity umbrella organization representing and unifying over 130 Jewish organizations in Queens.


Meanwhile, Uzbekistan began its Passover preparations already starting last month, with the import of 3000 kg of matzah (about 3,333 big boxes of 28 sheets of matzah) to be distributed throughout the country.
«Preparations for Passover are in full swing. We received the matzah and cleared it through customs. Some quantities have already been sent to the regions of Uzbekistan,» Daniel Isakharov, son of Arkadiy Isakharov, the head of Tashkent’s Jewish community and Chair of Tashkent’s Tero Synagogue, told the Bukharian Times over Telegram on March 29.

This year’s process was much smoother compared to last year when the train delivery was disrupted due to the Russian war in Ukraine. Rabbi Yehuda Bloy of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews recounted seeking advice from Lev Leviev, who instructed him to order matzo from Israel to be delivered by air instead. Although the boxes momentarily faced a delay in customs, causing some anxiety, they were eventually cleared in time for advanced distribution.