The Semach Sedek Russian Immigrant Aid Society Kosher Food Bank in South Euclid raised about $3,000 from the Goodness Graggers Purim fundraiser hosted in partnership with the Cleveland Jewish News.

The money was used to provide local Jewish families in need with kosher food for Passover.

“There are many people this Passover that will be enjoying both a Seder and Passover food because of the involvement of the community and the help that we received,” said Devorah Alevsky, director of the Kosher Food Bank.

Graggers, which are traditionally used as noisemakers on Purim, were distributed to students at local Hebrew schools. The students were asked to fill them with coins during the weeks leading up to Passover.

The CJN enlisted the help of volunteers from the Ohio Northern Region BBYO to open more than 1,500 cans. A total of $2,000 in coins was collected through the graggers.

“The Cleveland Jewish News is proud to have partnered with this cherished community resource and to have helped provide Pesach meals for the many needy individuals within our own backyard,” said Kevin S. Adelstein, publisher and CEO of the Cleveland Jewish News.

“Devorah and her loyal team of community volunteers work tirelessly and selflessly throughout the entire year to feed as many individuals as their resources allow. It’s extra special knowing this initiative was above and beyond those conventional means aimed at providing a special holiday meal for those who otherwise may not be able to afford it."

The Kosher Food Bank also received a $1,000 check from a local man who read about the fundraiser in the Cleveland Jewish News. The money was donated in the memory of his brother, who died recently and formerly volunteered with a food bank in Detroit.

The funds were used to buy Passover staples, such as kosher chicken, gefilte fish and grape juice. The Kosher Food Bank also was able to provide matzah and matzah meal to families, which is an item it’s not normally able to give the rest of the year. Local volunteers helped deliver the food to individuals and families who had previously signed up for the items.

“It was really wonderful to see the schools and the children getting involved,” Alevsky said. “They were very excited about it and very responsive.”

For more information about the Kosher Food Bank or to volunteer, call 216-382-7202 or visit

CJN Staff Reporter