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Hollywood Hills | Valley Focus

Food Donated as Part of Jewish Memorial

September 23, 1996|ED BOND

Several hundred pounds of nonperishable food were donated to a local food bank Sunday morning as part of Mount Sinai Memorial Park's Kever Avot ceremony, an annual memorial to Jews who have died.

The food drive, called "Feed Thy Neighbor," has been held for the past two years, said Frank Gilbert, building facilities manager for the memorial park.

Items such as canned goods, dry pasta, rice, powdered milk and other nonperishable items were donated by about 2,000 people who attended the ceremony.

"We have this at each memorial service we have, and we're going to continue it," Gilbert said of the food drive. "More people are getting used to bringing food to our services."

The food is given to the SOVA Food Pantry, a Santa Monica-based Jewish organization with a branch in Tarzana that helps people regardless of their religion.

SOVA is an acronym for several Hebrew words that translate as "And thou shalt eat and be satisfied," said Russ Alben, a board member of Sinai Temple in Westwood, which owns Mount Sinai Memorial Park.

The 45-minute Kever Avot program, which means "burial places of our fathers," included a principal address by Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz, who has been with Sinai Temple for at least two decades. He was one of six rabbis who took part in the ceremony.

The Sunday-morning ceremony preceded Kol Nidre, the evening service that begins the 24-hour fast of Yom Kippur.

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