In the morning CAARI did their community service at the schools, Rehab Center and Botanical Gardens. After lunch, CAARI boarded the bus and off we went to Rehovot, the site of the farm where Project Leket volunteers pick fruit for the needy. the skies were blue with temperatures in the 60’s – perfect outdoor day! We were met by Nechma who explained the Project Leket organization and what were were going to do. We were going to pick oranges! Yeah, we were going to reach rather than get on our knees to pick beets! We had to walk through sandy soil, similar to beach sand, to the orchards, passing fields of crops like potatoes, cabbage, carrots, avocado trees and other citrus fruits, until we reached rows for orange groves. CAARI got right to work and picked, filled baskets with the fruits, schlepped the baskets to larger bins which will be delivered to Israel’s hungry.
CAARI also got to taste the fruit – what could be better than a freshly picked orange! This is the 15th year for the CAARI group to pick fruit – this year oranges and we picked about 1.5 tons.
The following is a letter from Nechama, Leket’s field coordinator. She also was so happy to see us, as we were the only tour group she had Tuesday. With tourism down, Leket is not getting the groups to come pick the fruit. Thank you CAARI for being in Israel and supporting this valuable project for those less fortunate!
By Rosalie Whitehill
Today, Tuesday, after another marvelous day at school with happy, smiling youngsters, we went on our annual Leket (gleaning) outing, where we pick fruits for needy people on a farm started for the purpose of providing food for the hungry and where I met a young woman, spending a year in Israel and also there to volunteer to help with the gleaning…..She has lived her entire life in Long Beach, NY where I was born and lived my first 13 years…..another WOW moment. On our way back from the fields, we met another man and in talking found out he was from Scranton, Pa……and when I mentioned my mother was born there….he asked her maiden name and almost fell over when I told him and remembered Ruth (my mom)….is that another WOW moment or what?