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Gala will raise funds to feed hungry Jewish families

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Volunteers, including Give to Receive founder Rakela Spivak (second from left), Etti Sugar-Gabay (centre), and Chasdei Kaduri director Naomi Tabeka (centre right), prepare food packages for Jewish families in need.

The organizers of the Give to Receive Gala, a fashion show to benefit Chasdei Kaduri, a Jewish food bank, are hoping the funds raised will allow them to better meet the needs of the families that require their services.

Founded in 2013, Chasdei Kaduri, a fully volunteer-based organization that embraces the Jewish principles of tikun olam and chesed, collects and delivers kosher and nutritious food to needy Jewish families in the Greater Toronto Area.

Taking place at the Sephardic Kehilla Centre in Vaughan, Ont., on March 5, the goal is for the gala – which will include a fashion show featuring volunteer models wearing designs from Esti Boutique as well as jewelry and shoes provided by corporate sponsors – to raise upwards of $50,000.

In addition to the fashion show, guests will enjoy cocktails, and live music from Jessica Scarlato and Limor Twena.

Rakela Spivak – founder of the non-profit organization Give to Receive, through which she organized the Chasdei Kaduri benefit – said that this initiative is a response to the tremendous needs of those in the Jewish community who face poverty and hunger.

Spivak said she’s aware that a growing number of Jews in the GTA live below the poverty line and wants to “help parents provide for their families and bring increased awareness to the community of the importance of charity.”

“When you give, you get back,” Spivak said, adding that it’s important for people to never take their good fortunes for granted.

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Naomi Tabeka, Chasdei Kaduri’s director, believes that when you perform a good deed, you should do so without expecting praise.
Chasdei Kaduri’s mission is to “aspire to help Jewish families of all denominations put food on the table every Shabbat and throughout the week, as well as during holiday celebrations,” Tabeka said.

Etti Sugar-Gabay – a Chasdei Kaduri volunteer and member of the gala committee, along with Esti Cohen, Elise Benita and Shirley Smoskowitz – said she wanted to get involved because she feels “gratified knowing that I am helping as many people as I can.”

Although the organization accepts food donations, all proceeds from the gala will go towards buying more food to allocate to the 91 families that are served by Chasdei Kaduri.

Sugar-Gabay said they are always in need of more volunteers and funds to buy and deliver food. For Passover, there is a major need for items including eggs, meat, chicken, oil and sugar.
In addition to relying on members of the community to give, Chasdei Kaduri has also developed partnerships with grocery stores and bakeries.

Sobey’s, Metro and No Frills supermarkets, as well as Savours, a kosher grocer on Bathurst Street, allow the food bank to place food donation bins in their stores.
“They also have packaged bags of staples like salt, sugar, flour, etc., at the cashier, so people can buy them as a donation,” Spivak said.

Bakeries, including My Zaidy’s, Grodzinski’s, Isaac’s, Richmond Kosher Bakery and All Stars Bakery donate bread and pastries.

Tickets for the gala, which must be purchased in advance, are available at givetoreceive.ca.