Our History


nossa historia 1

In 1992, a group of community activists in S. Paulo felt moved by the impoverishment of part of S. Paulo’s population, especially regarding those who were in a very unfavorable condition, without resources to provide for their basic needs of nourishment. In homage to the 90th anniversary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a Rabbi who preached for fraternal love amongst human beings and taught that we live in a world where actions are of extreme importance. Developing a series of charity programs, Instituição Beneficente Israelita Ten Yad which means “reach out your hand” in Hebrew, was born.


With a simple structure, nevertheless completely focused on quality and on the philosophy of exercising goodness, Ten Yad initiated its activities in May 1992, on the first floor of a rented building in Ribeiro de Lima Street, at the Bom Retiro neighborhood, with a kitchen and a board placed on two wooden stands for a table. The place was named “Eshel Menachem Soup Kitchen” (Eshel is an acrostic standing for three words in Hebrew: eat, drink, accompany).


Despite its humble beginning, the institution had already developed the parameters that would serve as guidelines for the next 20 years, and that would ratify its actions: a confidential selection of the assisted, with interviews carried out by social workers and, above all, total respect for its users.


nossa histria 2In 1994, Ten Yad received an additional floor in the building and set up a convivial room for the assisted, which offered a program of cultural and recreational activities. During that same year, the Social Service noticed a significant demand of people who were unable to reach the soup kitchen due to displacement problems. A new pioneer program was introduced, the Meals on Wheels Program, which delivers complete meals to the homes of the assisted.


Between 1997 and 1998, thorough surveys carried out by the institution revealed what was called the ‘new poverty’, amongst a population of younger families. The Dairy Kit, Meat Kit, Staple Basket, and other methods of food distribution were introduced, such as the Food Card.


In 2000, the Weekend Delivery Program was created with the aim of preserving typical foods served during Shabbat, an important weekly celebration of Jewish tradition. During this same year, the Government of the State of S. Paulo through its Secretariat of Agriculture and Supply, with Ten Yad’s know how, jointly developed the Bom Prato popular restaurant in the 25 de Março Street area. Also the City Hall of S. Paulo, initially through the Secretariat of Health, and later through the Secretariat of Assistance and Social Development with its Program of Domiciliary Food Security for the elderly, adopted the Meals on Wheels Program.


nossa histria 3All of the efforts and search for quality led Ten Yad to be awarded with the Bem Eficiente (Very Efficient) Award, granted by Kanitz & Associates to 50 outstanding organizations for their model administration during the years of 1999, 2000, 2005, and 2006, and with the ISO 9001:2008 certificate managing a series of norms that establish quality management to an institution. Ten Yad’s Communal Soup Kitchen and Meals on Wheels Program were also highlighted during the Betinho Award of the Municipal Chamber of S. Paulo in the years of 2004 and 2011, figuring amongst the five best welfare programs of the city.


Thanks to the care, dedication and generosity of supporters, donors, volunteers, employees and its board of directors, Ten Yad is operating, since December, 2011, in its privately owned headquarters located in the Bom Retiro neighborhood, where it continues to honor, even more energetically, its commitments with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals: to eradicate hunger and misery, and provide dignity to the lives of many needy.

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