April 30, 2010

A Message from MAZON’s Chair

By Joel E. Jacob

April 30, 2010

Dear Friend of MAZON:

I just returned from MAZON’s board of directors meeting in Dallas, Texas and am pleased to bring you up to date on MAZON’s extraordinary achievements over the past year, and exciting plans for the near future.

Despite an unstable economy, MAZON has been blessed with generous donors who have not flagged in their tremendous support of our work. I’m very pleased to tell you that the board just approved disbursement of over $3.2 million to 300+ organizations to support food assistance programs in local communities and advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels. MAZON continues to be one of the strongest, most effective anti-hunger organizations in the country.

MAZON raised and awarded over $350,000 in emergency grants for work in Haiti following the January earthquake. MAZON grantees quickly responded to provide desperately needed food, water, shelter, sanitation and medical care to earthquake survivors, and to begin contributing to long-term rebuilding efforts in this devastated country.

This year, MAZON integrated cutting-edge technology and increased our presence on the Internet. We strengthened our hunger relief engagement through social networking venues, including Twitter and Facebook, and created a free MAZON iPhone Application, which allows people to donate, advocate and stay tuned to hunger issues.

In a successful partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), MAZON joined in developing a revised Haggadah to be used at Seders focused on ending childhood hunger by 2015. MAZON’s excellent and committed Hunger Fellows diligently worked with the Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRC) around the country to arrange the Seders.

At the recent Dallas board meeting (April 25), we were honored to welcome Max Finberg, Director of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as a distinguished guest speaker. We also discussed MAZON’s 25th year anniversary. For this remarkable milestone, we will honor our founder, Leonard (Leibel) Fein, during a luncheon held in New York on October 24, 2010. Although space is limited, if you would like to attend this inspiring event, please let the MAZON office know.

This has been a special year for MAZON. In addition to fighting hunger for over 25 years, we’ve been selected as the honoree at the 3rd annual KindredSPIRITS Humanitarian Aid Benefit Concert at the fabulous Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. I’m also pleased to report that we’ve been involved in several innovative projects:

  • A new nationwide partnership with Kaiser Permanente to strengthen food banks’ capacity to increase access to nutritious food reaching low-income families.
  • A new Bar/Bat Mitvah Tzedakah Project that will be broadly available to youngsters as they prepare for their simchas.
  • A healthy snack sack pilot program for children at four diverse food pantries in southern California to help combat childhood obesity.

You may be aware that H. Eric Schockman resigned as MAZON’s president in March. Our collective work to alleviate hunger and address its systemic causes has never been stronger during this period of transition. We anticipate that MAZON’s new leader will be in place in a matter of months, and it will be my pleasure to introduce him/her to you.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of MAZON.


Joel E. Jacob
MAZON: A Jewish Response To Hunger