Our Story

From Learning Partners To Kosher Pantry Founders

In 2002, Yecheskel Friedman and Elchonon Gross met, became friends and Torah learning partners. Year after year they continued learning together, including the period of time in 2008 when Yecheskel became seriously ill. Yecheskel was confined to his “4 walls” as he called it while he recovered through the next few years. It was during the darkest of times for him and those around him, that the idea of Ezras Cholim’s began.

Ezras Cholim of Phoenix a project of Ezras Cholim of Arizona was started in 2015 by a group of dedicated volunteers to serve the needs of people facing illness in the Greater Phoenix Jewish community. Our mission began to help Jewish patients and their family members meet their basic needs, so that they can focus their energy on receiving the best possible medical care.

In 2016 Ezras Cholim began renting a space at a community synagogue building in Phoenix. This allowed us to expand our opportunities to help the community as we now had a location to organize our efforts.

In 2017, Ezras Cholim was asked to operate a Sabbath pantry aiding the sick and needy in their difficult times to enjoy the Sabbath and Jewish Holidays, Tomchei Shabbos (“Support of the Sabbath”).

Ezras Cholim launched the Arizona Kosher Food Pantry in 2018, giving us the opportunity to aid the needy on a daily basis at our location. The Kosher Food Pantry is a part of a national food-pantry network called Feeding America.

In 2019, Ezras Cholim and the Arizona Kosher Pantry moved to a new location. We saw it as an opportunity to grow as the location has 2 buildings, effectively doubling the size from our old location.

In the News & Important Milestones

Dec 17, 2019 City of Phoenix

Nov 15, 2019 Arizona Jewish Life

November 2019 North Central news

October 2019 Participant Food Recovery Challenge

August 2019 edition of the North Central News.

April 17, 2019 edition of the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix.

Voted Best Non-Profit Organization in the Valley

In 2018, Readers of the Jewish News voted Ezras Cholim and the Arizona Kosher Pantry as the Best Non-Profit Organization in the Valley

"Kosher food pantry opens"

article in the Feb 21, 2018 edition of the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

1st Food Bank In the US Partners with Arizona Kosher Pantry

In 2018, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance accepts Ezras Cholim and the Arizona Kosher Pantry as a Partner Agency

Staff and Volunteers

Rabbi Ariel Shoshan

Rabbinic Adviser

Rabbi Shmuel Field

Rabbinic Advisor

Yecheskel Friedman

President & Founder

Elchonon Gross

Chairman & Founder

Billy Flowers

Transportation Coordinator

Julie Almosino

Volunteer Food Director

Luara Leibhaber

Volunteer Food Coordinator

Melanie Silverman

Volunteer Pantry Manager

Andrea Taubman

Public Relations

Dmitry Pustylnikov

Marketing and Public Relations

Board of Directors

  • Julia Almoslino
  • Janice Gotfried
  • Charles Matlin, MD
  • Jeremy Rovinsky, Esq.
  • Ben Saks
  • Sam Saks, Esq.
  • Shani Saks (Feld), MD
  • Myra Schindler
  • Cary Schnitzer, MD