yad-ezraAs an avid reader of the Jewish News, as well as a cruiser of the Davidson Digital Archive, I have read quite a few stories about a certain organization in Metro Detroit: Yad Ezra.

For the past 26 years, this food pantry has provided kosher food for those who are hungry in our community. I wondered — How did Yad Ezra get its start? The Jan. 5, 1990, issue of the JN provided me with the answer.

The headline to the story was quite simple: “Kosher Food Pantry to Open.” It would be one of 80 food pantries or soup kitchens in Oakland County where, in 1990, an estimated 70,000 people needed some sort of food assistance; as many as 2,000 Jews were included in this estimate.

Yad Ezra was expected to open in February of that year, and it would have one unique feature that set it apart from the other 80 pantries; it would provide kosher meals to those Jews who needed help.

It is sad to think there is still hunger in a rich nation like the United States. Yad Ezra is still fulfilling its original mission, and the Detroit Jewish
community is the better for it.

By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at