MADA Initiates COVID-19 Emergency Plan – Food Distribution Now “Take-Out” Only

Pandemic expected to be particularly difficult for the elderly and socially isolated

MADA, a non-profit community center with a mission to care for people in need by providing basic necessities, today announced its COVID-19 emergency plan.

Specific measures include:

  • Clients, volunteers and employees are asked to avoid MADA if they:
    • Have been in contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19
    • Have been outside Quebec in the last 14 days
    • Are showing cold-like symptoms
  • Children under 18 and seniors over 70 years of age are asked to avoid MADA until further notice.
  • Clients, volunteers and employees will wear gloves and masks, and adhere to a strict social distancing policy.
  • The Cafeteria remains open. All meals will be served in individually-wrapped containers for “take-out” only. Access to the building will be restricted. Meals will be distributed in a temporary tent in MADA’s parking lot.
  • The Food Bank also remains open, but groceries will be distributed in pre-packed bags.
  • Shabbat to Share food boxes will be delivered on Thursdays. Volunteers will leave boxes at clients’ doors. They will no longer be permitted to enter clients’ homes.
  • All communal Passover Seders have been cancelled, however “Seder in a Box” will be available to clients who register online.
  • Passover Food Baskets will be distributed as planned. Pick-up will be from a temporary tent in MADA’s parking lot.
  • The Clothing Depot is closed until further notice. Donations of clothing may be deposited in bins in the nearby Decarie Square parking lot.
  • The Furniture Depot is closed until further notice.
Safely packing Passover boxes at the MADA warehouse.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting people all over the world,” says Rabbi Chaim Cohen, Executive Director, MADA. “At this difficult time, we are focused on caring for members of our immediate community – the elderly and often alone – who are among the most vulnerable in our society. We are committed to distributing food to as many people as possible. However, to reduce the risk of infection, all food will be for “take-out” only. While the reduction of personal human contact between clients and volunteers is a big loss for all concerned, it is necessary to protect public health. Our top priority remains our clients, whose needs are greater than ever during this unprecedented time. We thank everyone for their support and understanding.”

Founded in 1993, MADA is a volunteer-based organization that relies upon private donations from individuals and foundations. Based on the vision that protecting individual dignity is inseparable from the provision of care, we provide our patrons with social and crisis services free of charge and serve as a safe haven for those in need. MADA’s mission is to help people with the basic necessities of life, while helping them to become self-sufficient. MADA’s food bank feeds more than 4,500 people, on average, per month. Our cafeteria ends the loneliness and indignity of hunger in an uplifting environment. Friendly volunteers bring delicious meals directly to patrons’ tables, restaurant style. MADA also delivers meals and friendly visits to elderly patrons with limited mobility. Rooted in Jewish tradition and founded on a vision of caring, MADA welcomes, supports and embraces all people, irrespective of religion, race or nationality. MADA is committed to treating all people with dignity. Feeding people is often the end result but the approach involves opening hearts, acting as an extended family and treating people with respect. For more information on these and other services, please call(514) 342-4969 x 770 or visit .


Nova Grants: Jewish Community Foundation’s Call for Applications

The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF)  has announced that agencies, synagogues and community organizations have until April 17, 2020 to apply for the second round of Nova grants.

“In promoting this program,” explains David Martz, Chair of the JCF’s Allocations Committee,  which oversees the Nova Grants.  “Our goal is to support the vulnerable, promote Jewish identity and culture and strengthen the institutional framework of Montreal’s Jewish community by encouraging community institutions to experiment and to test new or innovative approaches to meeting critical or emerging needs.”

“We are funding new initiatives that for the most part are not receiving funding from Federation,” adds Kathy Assayag, JCF’s Executive Director. “Our hope is that our support will serve as seed money for initiatives that can have a measurable impact on the vitality of our community.”

The Jewish Russian Community Centre was one of the recipients of a Nova grant.

In the first round of Nova grants, JCF provided $400,000 in funding to 16 community organizations and supported 17 leading-edge programs. Recipients included Agence Ometz, BANAV, Centre Lifeline, Congregation Beth Tikvah, Montreal Open Shul, Montreal Shira Choir, Museum of Jewish Montreal, OSM, Segal Centre, Temple Emanu-El- Beth Sholom, The Donald Berman Bikur Cholim Ladies Association,  The Donald Berman Yaldei Developmental Centre,  The Jewish Learning Lab, The Jewish Russian Community Centre, The Mile End Chavurah, and Zera Café and Catering.

JCF Nova Grants, ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, are allocated on an annual basis for either one-time funding for a program which will be carried out within one year, or to be used over a period of up to three years, depending on the nature of the program. Applications are available online at

The JCF’s mission is to grow a strong, sustainable community that embodies the Jewish values of tzedakah, tikkun olam and dor I’dor, from one generation to the other. Its commitment is:

  • To help individuals and families support the causes they care about and achieve their philanthropic goals;
  • To find solutions that are tax-wise and create greater impact;
  • To ensure Montreal and its organizations remain strong and vibrant by helping build and carefully steward financial resources.

For more information on JCF please consult




Prominent rabbi shares his insight on how to clean and prepare fruits and vegetables

Hosted by MK, Canada’s Kosher Certifier , Rabbi Yossi Eisen,  was in Montreal for a whirlwind 48-hour visit to share his insights on how to clean and prepare fruits and vegetables.  He is a world-renowned expert in kashrus and hilchos tolaim,

“I was impressed with the comprehensive approach of MK and the strength of the organization’s leadership and commitment to ensuring Montrealers benefit from the highest quality of kosher food,” noted Rabbi Eisen. “At the same time I was overwhelmed by the interest in preparing fruits and vegetables in keeping with our traditions, from the students I met at the different schools to the impressive crowds at my public lectures.”

Rabbi Yossi Eisen world expert on infestation with Rabbi Berel Bell & Rabbi Saul Emanuel of MK – Canada Kosher

Rabbi Yossi Eisen is the chief administrator of the Five Towns Far Rockaway Kashrus agency in New York City. Rabbi Eisen is a world expert in the subject of Hilchos Tolaim and removing infestation from fruits and vegetables.

On Sunday evening Rabbi Eisen met with the rabbinical leadership of the Jewish Community Council and them made a multimedia presentation entitled “Tell the Bug to Bug Off to over 400 community members at the Montreal Torah Centre. The following afternoon over 250 attended a repeat performance at the Congregation Toldos Yakov Yosef Of Skver. In between the Rabbi met with students at different school  and provided a tutorial for 20 cooks at a private home in Côte Saint Luc.

“Our goal in inviting the Rabbi was to send out a positive message about the preparation of kosher food and the importance of following the rules and regulations that have been set to ensure the Kosher standards and well being of Jewish Montrealers,” explained Rabbi Saul Emanuel. “His dynamic and informative was a practical tutorial on how to identify and remove infestation.”

MK certifies over 850 companies across Canada, including close to 100 establishments, caterers and synagogues across the island of Montreal. MK Canada Kosher has eight  Rabbis from across the city who meet weekly and is known worldwide as a highly respected Kosher Certification agency