It is a custom (noted in the
Talmud), to eat specific food as
simanim (Hebrew for signs) or omens for the new year.
Hence the association of honey, in its various forms, with a sweet year.
Another sign is carrots, in part deriving from the Yiddish word for carrot,
mehr, which also means 'more.' It can be
an omen for a year of plenty, a year of increase. We certainly wish that for you and your family.
But in the spirit of all that
MAZON Canada stands for, let us also reflect on our relative riches and think of those
for whom mehr can make the difference between dignity versus shame, between being able to concentrate in
the classroom versus hunger pangs, between enough for food and enough for a roof over one's head versus
having to make impossible choices. There are always those who need substantially mehr to live a life of mere
In this season of hope, let us take meaningful action through tzedakah to provide for the most vulnerable among
us. Thus we ask that you be generous in supporting MAZON Canada, The Jewish Response to Hunger, with
your donation to help alleviate hunger in Canada.
This is an auspicious time in
MAZON Canada's history - celebrating thirty years of supporting hunger-relief
organizations with our grants. On the accompanying page we look at our history and continuity. But this is a time
to also look forward. We are in a period of transformation: a renewed Board, an expanded and more uniform
allocations process, and some innovative projects that break new ground, such as:
- Supporting game-changing FoodReach, a state-of-the art new online platform that enables agencies fighting hunger to order and have delivered fresh produce at or below wholesale.
- Funding three schools in BC and SK serving kids in remote food-insecure areas where students learn local indigenous skills of harvesting, preparing, and preserving food. This is sustainable for the land, for the students, and for their communities. Talk about futuristic visions!
- Supporting the Miles Nadal JCC in downtown Toronto that is expanding its community-building outreach to host monthly Shabbat services and dinners aimed specifically at Jewish communities often neglected (e.g. LGBTQ community, people with disabilities). We're supporting a new dinner series reaching out to Jews in financial need.
Our tradition teaches us these
simanim are also reminders of the need for repentance,
tshuva, in order to be
worthy of all that we hope for. Acts of kindness on behalf of the vulnerable and less fortunate are powerful concrete
manifestations of our noble aspirations of tshuva.
You have enabled us to provide more funding this year than last. But the requests of Mazon were larger than
we could meet. Please be generous with your new year's donation to MAZON Canada and in joining other
members of the community in addressing the scourge of hunger throughout our nation.
Wishing you and your family a sweet and bountiful 5778!