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Naming confusion puts Kosher Mobile Meals on the back foot

  • 2b-Letter7
Kosher Mobile Meals (KMM), the flagship project of the Union of Jewish Women (UJW) in Johannesburg, was started in 1972 to provide nutritious meals for elderly members of the Jewish community who are unable to cook for themselves. We are the only Jewish organisation in Johannesburg which provides cooked meals for our community.
by Cindy Kree, Union of Jewish Women, Johannesburg | Sep 12, 2019

Some time ago, we were advised by the chairperson of Meals on Wheels, a Congregational Church project, that she was astounded by the number of very large bequests their organisation was receiving from deceased Jewish estates. Shortly thereafter, we were approached by a member of our own organisation who advised that she was in a position to increase her monthly debit order to KMM. She was astounded and indignant when she was advised that she wasn’t on our list of monthly donors, saying that she had been donating to us on a monthly basis for years. Further investigation revealed that she had been paying Meals on Wheels.

All of this isn’t surprising, as many members of our community, including the recipients of our meals, some volunteers, and rabbis, often refer to our project as “Kosher Meals on Wheels”, or simply “Meals on Wheels”. We have no doubt that Meals on Wheels is still cited as a beneficiary in many of our community members’ wills, and that the organisation continues to receive donations from community members, particularly at this time of year.

To add to our woes, over the past three weeks, many people have phoned our office requesting Section 18A certificates for donations made to KMM. When advised that we have no record of such donations, they either advise us that they have paid the Chevrah Kadisha, or they send us proof of payment to the chev. There is thus a perception among many that KMM is a project of the Chevrah Kadisha. The misconception might have arisen partly due to the fact that our meals were previously cooked at Sandringham Gardens, and are now cooked at Our Parents Home. It’s important to note that the UJW pays for each and every one of these meals for our recipients, the number of which fluctuates between 130 and 150.

We stress that KMM is a totally independent organisation which is run and funded entirely by the UJW (assisted by our generous donors). 

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