thiscangobacktothearchives

April 2, 2015

Happy Passover!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Leah Edelman @ 9:40 am

Have you done your Passover shopping? Was it similar to this list– and these prices– from 1977?

JPA 1977

With the beginning of Passover tomorrow night, we wanted to share some materials from the collection about the Joint Passover Association (JPA), one of Federation’s agencies.  Founded in 1927 with the purpose of coordinating Passover assistance activities and fundraising conducted by synagogues and Jewish organizations, the JPA provided Jews in need with funds to buy Passover items. By its 50th anniversary in 1977, the JPA provided aid to 4,065 applicants (11,263 individuals) and distributed $116,707 that year in relief funds.

The above food list details the “basic Passover needs for one person” in 1977, and the prices reflect the amount of aid most people received. Though it may seem bare-bones compared to some lavish Seder spreads of today, most recipients were very grateful to receive help to celebrate the holiday. Below are a few of the many thank-you notes sent to Federation in response to receiving Passover assistance. The Joint Passover Association was a Federation-affiliated agency through 2009.

Happy Passover!

caring and enjoy

Left: “This note is to thank you for the help received this passover from your passover fund. It certainly helped me to cheer up and enjoy some of the passover foods I otherwise would not have been able to enjoy.” Right: “You have helped to enrich our Passover holiday…Thank you and god bless you for caring about us. You really have no idea how you pull us through all these years.”

exodus and not been refused

Left: “Every year…I have requested your aid and haven’t been refused. It is due to your kindness and generosity that have helped make the holiday more joyous.” Right: “[There are] people like you at the J.P.A. to help us observe the memory of our Exodus.”

sweet and more money

Left: “May God bless you for being so kind, thoughtful, and friendly spirit you have shown me. It means the world to me and cheered me up a bit.” Right: “…I respectfully ask you if I can get a little more cash I should enjoy Passover.”

faith and kosher meat

Left: “…I was able to buy kosher chicken and a little meat. Keep up the good work.” Right: “…it helps to restore one’s faith that our people will not forsake us.”

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