Los Angeles, CA - Tomchei Shabbos Delivering Kindnesses, Discreetly
Los Angeles, CA - Rabbi Yona Landau is sitting in his insurance office in the Beverly-La Brea area, not selling insurance. Landau and one of his two employees spend nearly all of their time running Touch of Kindness , a social service agency Landau helped found in 1977.
When Landau first moved to Los Angeles from Lakewood, N.J., he and a group of others met in a garage to pack and deliver weekly groceries for about six families. By 1980, the others had left, and Landau inherited Tomchei Shabbos (Hebrew for Supporters of Shabbat), which had grown to serve 60 families. He moved into a small storefront with shelves and top-loading freezers. Today, Touch of Kindness, which encompasses Tomchei Shabbos and several other concerns, is a $2.2 million organization helping around 1,500 families.
The weekly food delivery, which operates out of a 16,000 square-foot warehouse on La Brea Avenue, is the heart of the program. About 100 volunteers package and deliver 6,000 pounds (double on holidays) of chickens, eggs, milk, challah, grape juice, fresh produce and other groceries to more than 200 families each Thursday evening.
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