Jewish charities join forces to support patients in hospital during Rosh Hashanah

Learning disability charity Kisharon will bring a smile to patients who need to stay in hospital over Rosh Hashanah with a kiddush box containing grape juice, honey, dried apple and a card printed with blessings to be recited on the Jewish New Year.

Patients will be able to fulfil the apple and honey tradition and say the Rosh Hashanah kiddush in a joint initiative with Bedside Kosher which provides fresh kosher meals for hospital patients.

Kisharon’s kiddush boxes, which have been paid for by an anonymous donor, will be presented to patients with a hearty Yom Tov meal from Bedside Kosher.

Each one has been packed by people with learning disabilities and volunteers in Kisharon’s Rosh Hashanah social enterprise project, which offers training and employment opportunities.

Four thousand families will be opening Rosh Hashanah gift sets this year from Kisharon social enterprises, following sales of products to shuls, community groups and the Armed Forces.

Barnet General Hospital, the Royal Free and other hospitals in north London will have 220 kiddush boxes to distribute to Jewish patients. Packed in a protective box with a brightly-coloured sleeve, patients might even choose to take home the gift to share with their families.

Kisharon Chief Executive Richard Franklin said: “Increasingly Kisharon is moving into the space of cross-communal initiatives, and I am so pleased we can work alongside Bedside Kosher to mutually improve outcomes for people both charities will support. Collaboration for the greater good is core both to our social enterprises and to what we stand for at this important time of year.”

Anthony Shaw, Chief Executive of Bedside Kosher said: “We genuinely believe food is medicine and that maintaining good nutritional status during hospital is vital.

“During Rosh Hashanah, patients in hospital won’t get the chance to celebrate, and, due to continued Covid restrictions in hospitals, they currently don’t have access to friends, family, or their local synagogue.

“This year we are thrilled to continue providing our daily fresh Kosher meal service as well as special yomtov meals, delivered by volunteers from our community, and thanks to the amazing work of Kisharon and the people they support, we are also able to provide these special gifts for patients.”

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