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Tel Aviv Start-Up Helps Meir Panim Prepare Holiday Packages

At Zeek, a start-up in Tel Aviv which serves as a platform for British and German shoppers to buy and sell gift cards, all employee ideas are welcome.

When Jade Messias, a new employee and recent Oleh from South Africa, had the idea for the company to engage in a volunteer project in advance of Rosh Hashanah, the company told her to go ahead and plan something with their full support. Jade immediately thought of Meir Panim, as she had heard about the vital work of the organization and felt that the cause and mission were something everyone could get behind.

As a busy office with 50 employees, the logistics of travelling to one of Meir Panim’s Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens was impossible, so we aimed to bring Meir Panim to Zeek – and Zeek to Meir Panim. Mimi Rozmaryn, Meir Panim’s Director of Global Development, visited the Zeek office in the heart of Tel Aviv’s start-up center and shared Meir Panim’s work fighting poverty with the Zeek team.

Employees were surprised to hear how many people in Israel live under the poverty line, and were touched to hear how Meir Panim treats each client with dignity and respect, with the goal of serving as an additional safety net for Israel’s most vulnerable populations. Jade shared “it is truly inspiring that your organization makes such a big difference in peoples’ lives.”

The next stage of the program was for the employees to box up pantry staples, lightly-worn clothing, and books; which they had brought from home to donate for distribution at Meir Panim’s five Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens in advance of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. The Zeek team dug right in – assembling boxes, organizing the goods by category for easy distribution, and enjoying time together in a different setting than around the boardroom table.

The employees donated over 20 large boxes of food and other goods, which will be sure to brighten the holiday for Israeli citizens throughout the country.