Former German President Christian Wulff visits the elderly at a Meir Panim facility in Safed. (Credit: Meir Panim)
Former German President Christian Wulff recently visited Israel on a fact finding mission. One of his unusual stops was to Meir Panim’s Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen in the Galilean city of Safed.
Wulff, a staunch and longtime supporter of Israel, had previously visited the country while in office in 2010. His recent visit to Meir Panim was coordinated by Senator h.c. Michael Keller, dedicated board member of Meir Panim’s UK branch, Manna.
During his time at Meir Panim’s Safed soup kitchen, Wulff demonstrated his continued commitment to the Jewish state and referenced the strong relationship between Israel and Germany.
Germany continues to be one of Israel’s staunchest defenders and most dependable allies. Germany’s foreign policy is clear on its position of Israel’s right to exist. In light of Israel’s geographical position as a democracy in the region, Germany’s support has been consistent.
President Wulff spent much of his day at Meir Panim discussing its unique system for operations with Branch Manager Benny Elgad. Elgad pointed out that the Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen welcomes anyone who walks through its doors, regardless of race or ethnic background. It serves as a true cornerstone in the Safed community where anyone who is hungry can find a hot meal and a friendly face.
“It was a true privilege to speak with President Wulff,” remarked Elgad to Breaking Israel News. “He spent hours here at the restaurant and really dedicated his time to understanding how critical this facility is to the residents of Safed. In fact, he was so inspired by Meir Panim’s work that he made a point to speak to the diners one-on-one and hear their stories.”
Elgad was visibly moved by President Wulff’s visit as tears filled his eyes. “It’s not every day that we get an opportunity like this, to have such a distinguished leader among us,” he said.
President Wulff served as Germany’s youngest president from 2010 to 2012, and is also an attorney. He currently works as a business consultant while dedicating much of his time to philanthropic causes.
Wulff learned how much of a lifeline Meir Panim is for so many Safed residents struggling with poverty. The soup kitchen is unique in that it is run similarly to a restaurant, only without the exchange of cash. Diners are seated and served by volunteer waiters, and served hot, nutritious meals in a dignified setting. No one waits on line.
Those who frequent the Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen are predominantly Safed’s elderly residents. Most live on fixed incomes, have little money for food and even less for recreational activities. Additionally, many have no family members or friends outside of the soup kitchen, making this place their “second home” of sorts.
Former German President Christian Wulff meets with members of a Meir Panim choir. (Credit: Meir Panim)
Therefore, additional activities and programming are provided including speakers and workshops on subjects such as budgeting and Jewish studies. This branch even maintains an impressive choir, made up of its patrons, many of whom are Holocaust survivors. It a particularly moving moment during President Wulff’s visit, the choir gave an emotional
Following Wulff’s visit, diners were touched to learn that the world has not forgotten them. “It made me feel so good inside to understand that we are not alone,” said Elsi, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor who eats at Meir Panim every day and takes a container of food home with her for dinner. “I just don’t know how I would get by without Meir Panim’s restaurant and it is really an honor to have a visit like this.”
Across Israel, 1.8 million citizens go to bed hungry each night including 800,000 children. In addition to Meir Panim’s efforts fighting poverty in Safed, the organization runs a network of Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens in Jerusalem, Or Akiva, Tiberias, and Dimona. Meir Panim also provides Meals-on-Wheels deliveries to the elderly, homebound, and disabled; After-School Youth Centers; school lunch programs; vocational training; and holiday food packages.
“Meir Panim is thankful for President Wulff’s commitment to the Jewish state and for the time he dedicated to learning about the poverty crisis in Israel and the organization’s lifesaving work,” expressed Mimi Rozmaryn, Director of International Relations for Meir Panim to Breaking Israel News. “Meir Panim would like to express its utmost gratitude to President Wulff for his commitment to continuing this friendship and we hope that he will come again to experience some of our other crucial social welfare programs.”
The University of Cape Town campus. Photo: Adrian Frith via Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Cape Town, the top-ranking academic institution in Africa, is set to consider enforcing an academic boycott against Israel later this month.
The UCT Senate, a decision-making body comprised primarily of professors and administrators, endorsed a proposal on March 15 to bar the university from entering into any formal relationship with Israeli academic institutions that operate “in the occupied Palestinian territories,” or otherwise enable “gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the university said in a statement.
The campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – Students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum held between Tuesday and Thursday, calling on the school to separate itself from companies that conduct business with the State of Israel.
The tally was 69 percent in favor and 31 percent against.
Members of the pro-Israel community nationally and locally condemned the outcome.
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“The same days on which the Yehudim enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.” Esther 9:22 (The Israel Bible™)
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Protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags shout anti-Israel slogans during a demonstration in Amsterdam June 4, 2010. Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has set off a diplomatic furor, drawing criticism from friends and foes alike and straining ties with regional ally Turkey, which cal. (photo credit: REUTERS)
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The threat posed by Hezbollah and Ali Musa Daqduq, a senior operative in Hezbollah, was unmasked by Israel on Wednesday.
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Or, to put it more simply, why Senator Kamala Harris deserves to be in the White House.
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