For the past five years, Project Ezrah has offered lovely, modest “Purim Packets.” Each packet, containing two edible goodies (for two brochot), comes with a card stating that Project Ezrah applauds those families who chose to send modest mishloach manot so that the greater portion of their donation can be distributed as matanos l’evyonim (gifts to the poor) on Purim Day.

It’s a daunting task! First, find an appropriately large packing site. This year, we are most grateful to Miriam Bak and the young ladies at Bat Torah for offering us a temporary home! They were most gracious and helpful and we could not have been luckier. Then items ordered, then each packet tissued, boxed, be-ribboned, properly routed, and delivered to each sender’s chosen recipient (yes, we deliver the packets too!). In this, we have been very, very blessed that members of our community volunteer to help pack, pack, and pack!

Five years ago this was a new concept, yet we sold 1,000 packets. The Purim after Katrina struck New Orleans, we extended our search for Purim goodies and commissioned one of the kosher establishments in the Big Easy to bake 5,000 mini pecan pies for us. We were thrilled that our order was a jumpstart to the resurgence of their business. We have ordered from fledgling local purveyors in the hope of helping them grow and we have ordered from Argentina in an effort to help their Jewish Community.

This year, Project Ezrah prepared approximately 8,000 Purim Packets! Kudos to our community for their sensitivity and generosity.