MADA Responds to Growing Needs of Montreal’s Jewish Community

MADA, a non-profit community center with a mission to care for people in need by providing basic necessities, today announced a new approach to fundraising for ‘Shabbat to Share’.

‘Shabbat to Share’ is one of MADA’s core services. Each week, volunteers deliver kosher Shabbat meals and offer friendly visits to members of the community who are usually elderly and often alone. Older individuals may be socially isolated due to family, health, financial and other challenges. For these people, ‘Shabbat to Share’ represents a nutritious meal and, as importantly, a sense of belonging and connection to the community. The relationships that develop between patrons and volunteers enrich the lives of all concerned. MADA delivers an average of 650 boxed Shabbat dinners each week at an operating cost of approximately $500,000 per year.

“While we are delivering a large number of Shabbat meals every week, we estimate that we’re only serving around 40% of those in need,” explains Rabbi Chaim Cohen, Executive Director, MADA. “Levels of poverty and loneliness continue to rise in our community. We must do more. In the Chanukah spirit of light, warmth and community, we are launching a new approach to fundraising for ‘Shabbat to Share.’

Online ‘Shabbat to Share’ donors are invited to ‘Refer a Friend’. With a simple click, donors may enter a friend’s e-mail address and compose a short message. This type of highly-personalized solicitation is expected to reach numerous new potential donors.

“We are entirely reliant on financial support from the community. We need new donors and no donation is too small. For those unable to make a financial contribution, we also rely on volunteers, including people to prepare and deliver Shabbat meals. In compassionate observance of Chanukah, we ask all members of the community to find a way to contribute that reflects their abilities, no matter their limitations,” adds Rabbi Cohen.

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 visit