Yad Ezra V’Shulamit has grown beyond our wildest expectations since its inception. What started off as donating a few dozen food baskets per week has transformed into a world class organization that provides tons of meals per week to thousands of families across Israel. In the beginning of our work, we were happy with just a few dollars in monthly donations. However, recently, we just raised over $200,000 through the Charidy campaign on June 2, 2015 – in one day! We have come a long way, and it is all because of you – our donors.
Growing and guiding a custom tailored Israeli charity program is not easy. There are an infinite number of tasks to accomplish and decisions to make. Naturally, many of our donors have been curious to know more about the people behind Yad Ezra V’Shulamit. So without further ado, we would like to introduce Rav (Rabbi) Aryeh and Ora Lurie – the founders of Yad Ezra V’Shulamit.
Aryeh Lurie does not have actual ‘Semichah’ – otherwise known as rabbinic ordination. However, the title ‘rav’ (Rabbi) has been bequeathed upon him by one and all in recognition of his righteousness. Rav Aryeh’s day starts at the crack of dawn; so does Ora’s. He is personally involved in every aspect of Yad Ezra V’Shulamit’s operation, from loading the food baskets onto trucks for distribution, to driving to farms and moshavim (villages) to pick up food donations, to meeting with potential donors. And she, his faithful partner, cares for their 12 children, while at the same time assisting him in his activities, opening her home and providing a listening ear for people in need.
Having grown up in a home of utter poverty, Rav Aryeh long ago decided to dedicate his life to make sure no child should have to experience what he did. “The poorest person in the world is a hungry child,” he says, “because he suffers alone. A child can’t turn to a soup kitchen, can’t call an organization for help. If we don’t reach out to him, he will stay hungry.” As a result of his own childhood, Rav Aryeh understands the mindset of a poor child. “There’s nothing wrong with being poor; in fact, Jewish scripts say that G-d considered what gift he could give the world, and decided to give us poverty. Poor children grow up with a number of advantages: they’re sensitive to other people’s needs; they learn how to work hard for what they want. They’re more likely to achieve their potentials. And they are humble.” But, the caveat is that this is the case as long as their dignity and respect is preserved. This is what Rav Aryeh aims to do.