Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Holocaust Survivor And Inventor Of Kosher ‘Meals On Wheels’ Program Dies

Yehoshua Hershkovitz, who started the first kosher “Meals On Wheels” program out of his Brooklyn kitchen, died Monday, the New York Times reported. He was 92.

In 1975, Hershkovitz founded Tomche Shabbos (“supporters of the Sabbath”) out of his home in Borough Park. Though he was a postal clerk, he was concerned that his neighbor, and others in his community, could not afford to put food on the table on Friday evenings.

The original Tomche Shabbos now distributes meals to 600 families in Brooklyn. The format has been spread to Jewish communities around the world and of every denomination.

Hershkovitz was born in Hungary in 1925. In 1944, he was deported to Dachau, a concentration camp near Munich. When the camp was liberated, Hershkovitz learned that most of his family had been killed in the Holocaust.

Hershkovitz, a humble man who consistently refused opportunities to be honored in front of his community, knew the importance of discretion in giving tzedakah, or charity.

“Some families are ashamed,” Mr. Hershkowitz told the New York Times in 1984. “So we don’t tell them where the stuff is coming from. We say it’s a grocery delivery and go away.”

Contact Ari Feldman at [email protected] or on Twitter @aefeldman

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.