I did promise babes...

Well, not Rosh Hashana per se. More like food served at Rosh Hashana dinners that requires onions. And not all dinners, just those dinners that have benefited from the largesse of Table to Table in the distribution of the onions that we picked on Friday (NO ONIONS IN SHAKSHUKA!). One busload of volunteers left from Tel Aviv and another from Jerusalem, while others arrived by car on their own. We spent the bulk of the morning picking onions – all of us, recent olim, students, vegans, a firefighter, assorted babes etc. We were paired next to an IDF unit who also chose to use their day off to pick onions. We got a little competitive – who would pick the most onions? – so some of us decided to psyche out our opponents and started taunting the soldiers by yelling “IDF Sucks!” and “We’re the Hezballah of Onion Pickers!” but it was all in good fun and no one got shot. And man did we pick a lot of onions.

Afterwards we enjoyed a falafel and watermelon lunch as well as a sterling variety of soft drinks and water. Thanks to Dalit at Table to Table for setting this whole thing up, to Shani from Stand With Us International for being the poster girl of the event, to the other Shani from the Jerusalem Post for posting this on Janglo, to Ricky for being the Tel Aviv bus monitor and posting the story on the Jerusalem Post Web site and to everyone who showed up to get food on to the tables of those who need it and in the process help me look like a real friggin’ humanitarian who could not possibly be a psycho…

OK. That was a digression. Forgive me. Inside joke. Anyhow, click on the flickr tag below for all the fun photos from Jewlicious at the Farm! Also, some of you who couldn’t make it expressed an interest in donating money to help Table to Table do what it does. Y’all asked me how and th answer is simple – go to the Table to Table Web site – tabletotable.org.il – and click on the Support Us link on the horizontal menu bar on top. Yaaay! Doing good deeds is fun!


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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Very nice, Dave.

    From Table to Table’s website, the About Us section:


    Every year in Israel, millions of pounds of excess prepared and perishable food are thrown in the garbage. Table to Table was founded in January 2003 to ensure that excess food ends up at its proper destination – people in need. Serving as Israel’s umbrella organization for “food-rescue”, Table to Table collects excess, unsold food from catered events, corporate cafeterias, army bases, food manufacturers, grocers, farms, and packing houses and delivers the food to non-profit agencies throughout Israel that serve those in need.

    Since its inception, Table to Table has grown from a one-person campaign to an operation with a team of 700 part-time volunteers, and a staff of 8 full-time employees. With the help of these well-organized and highly motivated individuals, Table to Table has grown into Israel’s umbrella organization for the collection of excess food. Every week, Table to Table collects over 10,000 meals, 40 tons of fruits and vegetables, and tens of thousands of fresh products.

    Table to Table supplies the food it collects to non-profit agencies throughout Israel, including food banks, homeless shelters, afternoon-clubs for youth, seniors’ residences, battered-women’s shelters, meals-on-wheels programs, and more. Through Project Reach Out (PRO), Table to Table places an emphasis on aiding agencies in periphery communities, some of the most economically challenged cities in Israel, such as Givat Olga, Kiryat Malachi, and Sderot. Table to Table is modeled on leading food rescue programs from North America, England and Australia to serve as Israel’s umbrella organization for food-rescue – the collection and distribution of excess food.

    Table to Table collects excess food by day and night, throughout Israel. Among our projects:

    Night-time Food Rescue

    More than 600 committed Table to Table volunteers pick up excess, unsold food from catered events during the late evening hours. They immediately transport the food to one of Table to Table’s partner agencies within close range of the pick-up area, or to our refrigerated warehouse in Ra’anana for delivery to agencies the following morning. Table to Table currently collects food from between 100 to 200 events per week, from event halls throughout Israel. Our volunteers are male and female, religious and secular and many are new immigrants to Israel. For more details, click here.

    Collection of Excess Food from Corporate Cafeterias and Army Bases

    During the day-time, Table to Table’s three refrigerated trucks collect excess food from over 20 corporate cafeterias and army bases, rescuing thousands of meals weekly.

    Grade “B” Fruit and Vegetables from Farmers and Packing Houses

    The typical Israeli farmer and packing house only sells 75-80% of the fruits and vegetables they grow. 20-25% of the produce falls into the category of “Grade B”, meaning that the produce is not presentable enough for sale but fit for eating. Until Table to Table came along, most farmers and packing houses would throw this produce away. Now instead, Table to Table enters with groups of volunteers to sort through the “Grade B” produce and distribute all of the good fruits and vegetables to our partner agencies. Working with over 15 farmers and packing houses, Table to Table typically collects over 10 tons (10,000 KG) of fruits and vegetables per week through this project.

    Project Leket: Fruit Picking for Israel’s Needy

    Thousands of Israeli farmers decide, for one reason or another, not to harvest all of their produce during the harvest season. In the past, all of this fruit – thousands of tons yearly – would have been left to rot and gone to waste. Through Project Leket, Table to Table enters into the fields of consenting farmers with groups of volunteers to pick and gather all the fruit and vegetables not harvested. Thousands of Israelis, including schools, army units, youth groups, companies, and the general public have come picking in the three months since Project Leket was initiated, collecting over 120 tons of fruits and vegetables, and a great time for all!

    Excess Food from Manufacturers

    Major food manufacturers in Israel, like their counterparts throughout the world, produce millions of fresh products a week. Often, a small percentage of their production remains unsold, and as the expiry date approached, most manufacturers were forced to throw their overproduction to waste. Table to Table provided an alternative. Now, instead of throwing away their overproduction, Table to Table works with major manufacturers to collect and distribute tens of thousands of products per week.

    Their website enables credit card donations. For donations by mail, they provide the following information:

    In the United States
    Contributions in US dollars should be made payable to PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc. and should carry a recommendation that they are for the use of Table to Table. PEF will forward the entire donation to Table to Table, with no overhead removed.

    Please mail your check to:
    PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc
    317 Madison Avenue, Suite 607
    New York, NY 10017 USA.

    In Canada
    Contributions in Canadian dollars should be mailed directly to UIA Federation Canada, with a directive that the funds are for the use of Table to Table. The UIA Federation will issue a Canadian tax deductible receipt on our behalf and forward the funds to Table to Table.

    Make checks out to UIA Federation Canada and send to:

    UIA Federation Canada
    c/o Howard Driman
    4600 Bathurst st., Suite 315
    Toronto, ON
    M2R 3V3

    Presumably, they can use some money to buy the meat, veggies and carbs to go with the onions that were picked.