Jews in Córdoba, Argentina Help the Needy Deal with Winter’s Cold

With the continuing, oppressive heat in the States this summer, we may forget that many people in the Southern Hemisphere are just now dealing with winter’s full effects.

To help their less fortunate neighbors battle the winter’s cold, a group of volunteers in Córdoba, Argentina, recently spent three full days sewing blankets in a donated factory space. The local Jewish community’s humanitarian support group, the Asistencia Social Comunitaria, served as liaison for the project. This group, comprised primarily of women, has been working side by side with JDC on humanitarian aid for the Jewish community and for the public at large.

The blanket-making initiative was also supported by the local newspaper, a radio station, the provincial government of Córdoba, La Botellita—a social help agency, and Comipaz, an organization that brings together all of the city’s religious and minority groups.

To provide what they called “Warmth for the Heart,” volunteers gathered each morning with their lunch boxes and coffee cups in hand, ready for a full day of sewing.  Live music and a lottery give-away helped keep them going, but they were buoyed even more by the thought that their helping hands could transform 60 squares of wool into one warm blanket for the needy.

Comipaz is in charge of handing out the blankets that were so carefully and lovingly prepared. Its president, Rabbi Marcelo Polakoff, emphasized that it wasn’t the blanket per se, “but rather the fact that people came together to sew small squares of wool, putting in their own little piece of the puzzle that makes up this society, and we all have to help to better it together.”

But for recipients like Eugenia, whose home was recently destroyed in a fire, it really was the blanket. “Thank God for this,” she said. “Now I have a blanket for my daughter. I need to keep her warm.”

For more information on JDC’s programs in Argentina, visit www.jdc.org/Argentina.

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