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Esther’s Angels rescues some three dozen families each week, taking care of their necessities in these uncertain times

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Esther Levy at her home in Montreal | Photo: Courtesy Esther Levy

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When most people think of social media influencers, they think of a fashionista, motivational life coach, or a famous food blogger… but when it comes to Esther Levy, a Cote Saint-Luc mother of 3, social influence is all about helping others.

Each Facebook shout-out either rallies donors, thanks contributing cooks, or promotes kosher caterers and butchers that donate goods to her association. This all began last year when Levy, originally from Morocco, found herself without her immediate family after giving birth to her third child. Her husband spent thousands of dollars on take-out, which prompted Esther to help a few Sephardic families that were finding themselves in a difficult financial situation.

What started off as feeding a couple of families, turned into a full-fledged basement operation feeding 30 to 35 Sephardi families each week, for the entire week. Les Anges d’Esther (Esther’s Angels), the name of her association, is not your typical nonprofit. There are no board members, nor does it receive any government funding.  Levy’s initiative is driven by a passion for helping others. “I guide with my heart. My heart does everything,” Levy says, smiling with her French accent. 

Since the start, over 8,000 meals have been donated; she stresses the importance of giving high-quality meals to those who truly find themselves with no friends or family to alleviate them. “I give out five-star food, all have to be fresh. I have a lot of ‘angels’ who are cooking like me every Wednesday. I have a lot of caterers and butchers that give me meals as well.” But it doesn’t stop there.

Levy became that middle woman, distributing clothes, second-hand furniture, air conditioners, and even cosmetics. She helps families move homes, she sits by bedsides of ill patients, and she taps into her network to help those who need a job. “As soon as they find a job, they are honest and let me know,” Levy says. She then moves on to the next family who needs her and takes them under her wings.

She mainly helps seniors, single mothers, and now, more and more single-fathers with full-custody. “When someone is calling me, I do not judge them. They say what they need, and I consider them like family. In fact, all of my families are my family, even the donors,” she expresses. I know that if I have a problem… I can call them, (and) they are gonna be here for me.”

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Levy’s basement is set up with a couple of freezers and a brand new oven. Baby formula, diapers, school snacks, and assorted non-perishable foods are lined up on tables. Stepping into her garage, three brand new bicycles, and three television sets, are ready to be distributed to families; meanwhile, a pile of eight bags of clothes needs to be sorted.

Since COVID, Levy says she works three times harder. She helps families in Cote Saint-Luc, Ville Saint-Laurent, Laval, Dollard-Des-Ormeaux. She recently cooked for six families affected by COVID. COVID brought its set of challenges: Esther had difficulty finding help, she had fewer people cooking, but many people sent her money. 

“I am doing this for Hashem. It’s important to do mitzvot, and I am trying to create a new style of mitzvot,” she confided. Levy partners with estheticians, butchers, and mainly Sephardic-run vendors. When clients mention Team Esther, a certain percentage will automatically be given to Levy’s association by that vendor. Facebook really helps Esther; many people ask her for help via Messenger.

Esther Levy and her eldest son, Sean 10, gives a thumbs-up in support of his mothers Cote Saint-Luc basement initiative that feeds families in need. Photo Leslie Perez

Despite the fact that her efforts take time away from caring for her own children and family, Levy feels that her two eldest kids, both 10 years of age, support her, and even give her a lending hand in the kitchen or to pack boxes. “Why do I do this? I am very happy… I am exhausted, I have no time for myself, but I am very happy. My aspiration is to never refuse anyone. My grandmother was very well known for this back in Morocco. After her, my mother took care of feeding five families each week… so now it’s my turn.”

Esther Levy’s unconditional kindness, one without expecting anything, not even a thank you in return, could be the closest thing to what angels on earth are made of.

Follow Esther Levy on Instagram @les_anges_d_esther_association

Leslie Perez is an international communications consultant servicing executives, entrepreneurs, and health/wellness pros around the world. Her clients range from renowned universities, world-class motivational speakers, and fascinating startups.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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