JCCP members Howard Leopold, left, and Richard Alpern deliver supplies to a local food bank.
While many local Jewish groups collect and distribute food throughout the year, the approach of the High Holy Days is a spur for even greater involvement in feeding the hungry.
Some groups, like the Jewish Community Center of Paramus and Wayne congregations Shomrei Torah and Temple Beth Tikvah, sponsor high holiday food drives under the banner "Operation Isaiah," a project created in 1989 by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Teaneck resident Rabbi Robert Abramson, who initiated the program, said the initiative enables synagogue members "to heed Isaiah’s message to feed the hungry." The education director of United Synagogue, Abramson points out that each year on Yom Kippur, Jews read the words of the prophet Isaiah, who reminds them that fasting is useless if it does not lead to concrete action such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and housing the homeless.