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Congratulations to Nissim Elmakayes, from Meir Panim’s Dimona Branch

August 18, 2020

Nissim, our Dimona Branch Manager, is Honored by the Mandel Foundation

Meir Panim is blessed to have an incredible group of staff and volunteers. They come to work every day to feed the hungry in Israel and ease the financial stress and heavy burdens for thousands of Israelis. Last month, Meir Panim’s Dimona Branch manager, Nissim Elmakayes, was publicly honored by the renowned Mandel Foundation.

After graduating from the Mandel Program for Local Leadership, Nissim Elmakayes went on to manage Meir Panim’s Dimona-Yerucham Branch. Not only is he personally responsible for feeding thousands of needy Israelis daily, he also helped establish Meir Panim’s Holocaust Survivor Day Center in Dimona, runs a charitable second-hand goods depot, and is constantly coordinating communal activities to ensure that no Israeli is lacking basic necessities.

With the onset of COVID-19, Meir Panim has faced many obstacles. For instance, many Israelis who live outside of the five Meir Panim Branch locations, have reached out for help but with a lack of resources and staff, delivering Meals-on-Wheels seemed to be an impossible feat. Nevertheless, Nissim, the Dimona Branch manager, saw this hurdle as an opportunity and with the help of the Mandel Foundation, he recruited 15 at-risk local teens to help volunteer at the Branch. Their responsibilities include assisting our clients and delivering and preparing Meals-on-Wheels and Takeout Meals. In return for their hard work, the teens get to participate in a “Chefs Workshop” where they will learn to become certified and trained chefs. This certification will give these teens the tools they need to succeed in the future.

Furthermore, when arranging this program, Nissim made sure that the workshops will take place on Thursdays so the participants can take home their prepared meals to their families for Shabbat.

Delivering Food with a Smile

As COVID-19 sweeps the nation, the need for Meals-on-Wheels deliveries is more crucial than ever before. As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel pass 90,000, the elderly and the high-risk population remain at home. Thankfully, the Meir Panim staff have become experts on getting thousands of meals packed and delivered daily! This is a true testament to the dedication and strong will of the entire Meir Panim community – the donors, staff, and volunteers!