Joseph Gitler on One Dozen Heroes List for 5777

The New Jersey Jewish Standard takes a look back at some outstanding Israeli’s actions in 5776 in its article ‘One Dozen Heroes’:

“Three years ago, I compiled a list of a dozen Israeli unsung heroes to mark the new Jewish year.

Here’s my latest list of 12 outstanding people to start off 5777 on an inspiring note, although it’s fair to say there are dozens more I could have included. May their example lead us to emulate their efforts to make a positive difference in the world.

1. Joseph Gitler of Ra’anana, a Teaneck native who founded and chairs Leket Is
rael, Israel’s national food bank and leading food rescue network. He made aliyah in 2000 and won a Presidential Citation for Volunteerism in 2011 for his massive operation, which began in 2003 with volunteers picking up leftovers from catered affairs. Last year, Leket Israel rescued and redistributed 2,110,198 hot meals from corporate caterers, hotels, and IDF bases, as well as 12,000 tons of agricultural produce donated by farmers and packing houses. The organization also provides 1,400,000 sandwiches to needy children at 130 schools in 42 municipalities every year.

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2. Rabbi Avraham Elimelech Firer of Bnai Brak, who won an Israel Prize in 1997 for founding and chairing Ezra LeMarpeh in 1979. The voluntary organization fills gaps in Israel’s medical system in many ways: providing free diagnostics, international medical referrals, free ambulance service, home care for children with cancer, extracurricular activities for disabled children, medical equipment, and more. Rabbi Firer is ultra-Orthodox, yet Ezra LeMarpeh assists Jews and non-Jews, religious and secular….”

-Excerpted from jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com

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