Members of the Pineles family, who made aliya from West Orange in 2014, were among 4,480 volunteers who came to a food storage warehouse in Kiryat Malachi and together packed 69,120 kilos of food that was distributed in holiday food boxes for the needy by Pantry Packers. “We are always looking for ways to involve our kids in hands-on hesed activities,” said Rachel Pineles.
The family — including her husband, Shmulie, and four children, Leora, 16; Ari, 13; Tali, 11; and Liat, eight — now lives in Rehovot.
Pantry Packers is a three-year-old initiative of the Colel Chabad Charitable Organization, the longest continuously running charity in Israel, founded in 1788 by the first Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. Pantry Packers was founded by Rabbi Menachem Traxler, who is currently its director.
“It is so important to teach the next generation to be generous, helping, giving, caring members of the Jewish community and society at large. The best way to accomplish that is by getting them involved from a young age,” said Pineles in a statement.
Before making aliya, the Pineles family often joined the Jewish Relief Agency, a project of the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, in local efforts to pack food for needy families and deliver packages to their homes. As Pineles said, “We also helped organize special packing days and recruited new volunteers to join. Upon our aliya, it was a natural fit to do similar work with Pantry Packers.”
In all, an estimated 18,500 families received food staples for the holiday season, totaling 37,000 crates of food packed in the warehouse in Kiryat Malachi.