Jewish Federation Hosts Hunger Summit

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The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is teaming up with Hazon Philadelphia on Nov. 11 to host “Hungry for Change: American and Israeli Strategies on Food Security, Recovery, and Justice.”

The summit, which will feature 34 presenters with insight into combating food insecurity, will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Jewish Community Services Building at 2100 Arch St. in Philadelphia.

In addition to the the two keynote addresses, which will be available for all, attendees can take part in two of nine breakout presentations.

“I’ve been involved in planning meetings for each session. Each time I say, ‘That sounds so interesting.’ And I say, ‘I want to go this session,’” said Addie Lewis Klein, Jewish Federation’s director of community engagement. “Then we have another meeting and I get excited. I cannot choose.”

The summit is part of Jewish Federation’s ongoing celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday. Although it’s the first time Jewish Federation has been involved, it’s the fifth year Hazon Philadelphia has hosted such an event.

“It’s a chance for people to get to understand the issues of the time on sustainability, and the challenge of healthy living,” said Valerie Yasner, co-chair of Hazon Philadelphia’s board of directors.

The keynote speakers include Joel Berg, the CEO of Hunger Free America, and a trio of Israelis: Gidi Kroch, CEO of Leket Israel; Yuvi Tashome-Katz, co-founder of Friends by Nature; and Evan Weintrob, executive director of Latet – Israeli Humanitarian Aid.

The four will bring different perspectives to the summit. While Berg, who wrote the book, All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?, will speak about the impact of food insecurity in the United States, Kroch, Tashome-Katz and Weintrob will impart advice on lessons they’ve learned from fighting hunger in Israel.

From there, several panels will delve deeper into other ways food insecurity can be combated, including Organizing Your Congregation for Action and Now and Then: Our Jewish Communities and Farming.

There will be tours of some of Philadelphia’s urban farming initiatives, like the Deaver Wellness Farm at Lankenau Medical Center. Attendees will learn how the farm provides eating education and access to fresh foods for hospital patients, medical students and residents.

“This is the start of a long conversation so that Israel and Philadelphia can be learning from each other about how we can work to end food insecurity,” Lewis Klein said.

“We find at Hazon that our values come alive when we engage in some of these most important issues of our time,” Yasner said.

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