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Jews You Should Know

Sep 23, 2018


Joseph Gitler grew up as a nice Jewish boy, and a Zionist, in Manhattan, NY and later Teaneck, NJ. His career path as a lawyer, first in the U.S. and then, after making aliyah, in Israel, was proceeding nicely, until he noticed a gaping void in the Israeli charitable sector: the absence of a food bank or food rescue and recovery program, which exist all over the world.

Leaving his career as an attorney, Gitler threw himself into the task of remedying that problem, and in the years since he has built a towering edifice of charity, benefiting the environment, thousands of volunteers, 210 recipient organizations, and of course the nation's poor.

With a $15 million annual budget, Leket distributes fresh produce and prepared meals with a wholesale value of over $50 million dollars, and a retail value much beyond that. In a single year, they deliver 45 million pounds of fruits and vegetables and 3 million cooked meals, utilizing over 60,000 volunteers and a professional workforce over 100 strong.

Visit to learn more about this amazing organization, the man who founded it, and ways you can visit, volunteer and get involved.



Jews You Should Know introduces the broader community to interesting and inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in our world. Some are already famous, some not yet so. But each is a Jew You Should Know.

The host, Rabbi Ari Koretzky, is Executive Director of MEOR Maryland (, a premier Jewish outreach and educational organization. MEOR operates nationally on twenty campuses and in Manhattan; visit the national website at

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A special thank you to Jacob Rupp of the Lift Your Legacy podcast for his invaluable production assistance.