Susan Koss was involved in every aspect of the recent expansion and relocation of Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington’s Capital Kosher Pantry. At Yad Yehuda’s second annual breakfast fundraiser, held Feb. 3, the organization honored Koss for her leadership and spotlighted the pantry’s role in the community.
“We’re so fortunate to have someone like Mrs. Koss heading the pantry. With her high energy, with her real concern and care for individuals, there really couldn’t be a better choice,” said Nechemia Mond, founder and president of Yad Yehuda, in a video tribute to Koss shown at the breakfast.
Reflecting overwhelming communal support for the vital mission of Yad Yehuda, the event was sold out almost a week in advance. People from communities across the region attended the breakfast, which was held at Young Israel Shomrai Emunah (YISE) in the Kemp Mill neighborhood of Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition to two tribute videos, the program included speeches from Mond and Koss as well as a dvar Torah from Rabbi Rosenbaum of YISE.
Established in 2006, Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington is a volunteer-driven organization that seeks to address the pressing financial needs of Jewish individuals and families across the region. Partnering with community rabbis, Yad Yehuda served as a financial safety net for more than 700 members of the Greater Washington Jewish community in 2018 alone.
Yad Yehuda’s Emergency Financial Relief Program works with individuals and families in financial crisis to address a wide variety of serious concerns on a case-by-case basis. Its Tomchei Shabbos Program distributes Shalom Kosher gift cards to qualifying community members to purchase Shabbos and Yom Tov food for their families. Finally, the Capital Kosher Pantry, located in Wheaton, Maryland, provides free groceries to those experiencing food insecurity. The only kosher food pantry in the state, it serves 150 community members each month.
Koss is the volunteer supervisor of the pantry. “I view the pantry as a way to teach people about the need to help people in the community as well as providing help to those who need it,” Koss said in the tribute video.
In second video shown at the breakfast, multiple anonymous beneficiaries shared their thoughts on the pantry. “It’s always a warm, inviting atmosphere,” said one, while another said, “My kids in particular enjoy going there.”
To learn more about the important work of Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington, please visit www.yadyehuda.org.
By Debbie Katz
Debbie Katz is the vice president of Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington and serves on its board of directors.