Completely alone

There are about 200,000 single mothers living in Israel today.

It's not easy to be alone.

Shabbat alone, holidays alone. Whether the children are sick in bed or celebrating a birthday, single mothers have nobody with whom to share either the joys or the burdens.

If that's not enough, add the stigma of being a grusha or an aguna. Add the pain of knowing that every time you leave the house, someone will look at you and wonder what went wrong, why your husband left you all alone.

Carrying the full weight of financial, practical and emotional responsibility for their families alone would be challenging enough, without the added struggles of legal battles over custody and child support. Bills and expenses that would be challenging for a family with two incomes threaten to topple any sense of stability when there is only one meager salary being stretched to the limit. Many women separate from their husbands only after years of trauma and abuse. Even as they hope to take strides towards a new life, they are living in the shadow of fear.

But you can change that. When crisis strikes, your donation can make the crucial difference and help a family keep their heads above water.

 

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"I too have benefited from your kindness along with the other single mothers, and raising five kids on my own while working and trying to get ahead is daunting at times. While everyone cares for the widows and orphans, single moms are made to feel like second class citizens. On more than one occasion I have heard other single moms tell me that they wish that they were almanos and not grushos or agunos. Then instead of being blamed they would be helped and supported. And I understand the feeling completely. But somehow you have the wisdom and open heart to help us and not allow us to sink into the misery that threatens at times to overwhelms us completely. 

Your zechus is unimaginable. After a hundred and twenty you will get to shomayim and receive schar for the brachos and torah learning of thousands of children who you have never met, yet cared for as if they were grandchildren. Children who went to school proud of their new clothes and shoes, and well nourished by substantial meals. You will receive schar for shabbos zemiros that wouldn't have been sung if there had been nothing on the table to eat. You will receive shcar for all of the things that hurting single moms accomplished when they held their heads a little higher and shoulders a little straighter because they knew that there was someone out there who believed in them and supported them. Someone in the world who cares." (From a thank you letter from one of the recipients) 

The YIKGH* tzedaka project is there for single mothers when nobody else is, and also helps melamdim and others whose families who have low incomes or are facing emergencies. The fund provides:

Food programs:

  • Three hundred low income melamdim receive 700 NIS food vouchers on a monthly basis
  • 150 grushos and agunos in the cities of Beitar, Ofakim, Jerusalem and Tzfat receive 350-550 NIS (depending on the size of the family) worth of chickens for Shabbos each month**
  • A soup kitchen provides cooked meals for Shabbos for 100 families each week
  • Before major holidays, hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of aid is distributed to needy families.

Basic supplies:

  • 7,800 winter quilts were purchased at wholesale discounted prices and provided to needy families across Israel. (5,000 donated by YIKGH, 2,800 from our partners)
  • School supplies were provided for children of grushos and agunos at the beginning of the school year to allow them to begin their studies with dignity like all of the other children

Clothing and Shoes:

  • Clothing was provided for the children of grushos and agunos at key times during the year, at the beginning of the school year, before holidays, and at the beginning of the winter**
  • Shoes and boots were provided to the children of grushos and agunos before the chagim and at the beginning of the winter**

Since the initiation of this project, in March 2011, we have provided over $3,375,000 in assistance to over 5,000 families in more than 20 cities across Israel.  These include many almanos, yesomim, cancer patients, gerushos, agunos, melamdim and talmidei chachomim, who are in desperate need of assistance.  The monthly budget of the program is approximately $50,000, and it increases significantly before yomim tovim. 

Please help us continue to help Israel's neediest!

 

* The Young Israel of Kew Garden Hills Charity Fund is under the direct auspices of Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld and Rabbi Doniel Lander, Rosh HaYeshiva Ohr HaChaim.  The fund provides money for food and clothing for needy families in Israel, and operates on 0% overhead.  All funds (excluding the percentage charged by the credit card processing system) are used entirely for Tzedakah.

**Participating stores contribute 6-8% value of the vouchers.

 

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