Purim and Matanot LaEvyonim

“They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor”
— Esther 9:22

The special mitzvah of Matanot LaEvyonim requires Jewish people of all ages to give over and above customary tzedakah to at least two people in need on Purim. This tradition of helping those in need is central to the spirit of Purim and reminds us that we are obligated and honored to extend a helping hand in times of joy and celebration.


Since 1989, Yad Chessed has been laser-focused on addressing the basic needs of Jews in our community who struggle with financial and food insecurity. With the support of donors, synagogues and other partner organizations, Yad Chessed’s team of social workers provide swift emergency assistance, grocery gift cards, and compassionate care, advice, and referrals to those in need.

In the weeks leading up to Purim, Yad Chessed reaches out to Rabbis, community leaders, synagogues, and schools to connect with people who are facing financial hardship. Anyone who is struggling can receive a Purim food voucher, as well as 1,000+ individuals and families who currently receive year-round support from Yad Chessed. In 2022, Yad Chessed distributed food support to 950 families on Purim Day, up from 900 in 2021.

Yad Chessed then sends out kosher grocery vouchers with no dollar amount to the families in need on our list. The vouchers will not be activated until Purim Day, and the value per voucher is determined by the total amount of funds raised by our amazing community.

On Purim Day, Yad Chessed determines the total amount of funds raised for Purim, including pledges, and calls the participating kosher markets to inform them the value of each voucher. Once the voucher value is determined, recipients can use them to purchase food starting at 1 p.m. on Purim Day.

80% of the total funds collected for Purim are distributed for food purchased on Purim Day. Any additional funds and donations that are received after the deadline (see below) are used to support Jews in need with food and emergency support during the rest of the year.


The more funds we raise on Purim, the higher the value of each voucher. Help us offer a hand of loving kindness on Purim by making a donation through your synagogue or day school, or directly to Yad Chessed.

Gifts can be made online. Donations made up until 11 a.m. on Purim morning Tuesday, March 7, 2023 will be counted towards the total. Donations received after 11 a.m. on Purim Day will be used to support Jews in need year-round. If you would like your gift tallied as part of your synagogue or school’s total, please note the name in your online gift .

Checks can be sent in advance of Purim to 440 Totten Pond Road, Suite 401, Waltham, MA 02451. If you would like your gift tallied as part of your synagogue or school’s total, please note the name in the memo line of the check.


For organizations that collect funds in-hand for Matanot LaEvyonim in the weeks leading up to Purim through Purim Day, these funds either need to be received by or pledged to the Yad Chessed office by 11am on Purim Day (Tuesday, March 7, 2023).

Pledges are the tally of checks and cash that you have in-hand but have not yet sent to the Yad Chessed Office. Please do not include individual gifts that congregants sent or plan to send directly to Yad Chessed. Donors can note in their check or online gift the name of your organization so their gifts will still be included in your total even if they are not included in the pledge amount that you send on Purim Day.

Pledges can be called in to 781-613-3413 or emailed to info@yadchessed.org by 11am on Purim Day. Your message should include:

  1. Your name and contact information
  2. The name of your congregation/organization and town
  3. The total amount being pledged
  4. How and when the pledge will be fulfilled (check, online gift, etc.)

If you collect cash donations as part of your final tally, please write a single check to Yad Chessed and write “cash” on the check memo line, as well as the name of your organization.

For more information please contact Yad Chessed at 781-613-3413 or info@yadchessed.org.