When Nechama’s husband passed away, the whole community offered comfort and support. But what happened when the shiva is over and everyone went home? The new widow was left bereft, trying to fill the role of father and mother, breadwinner and home maker, trying to nurture her heartbroken children, and wondering if she will have the strength to rebuild. Those tasks are a lot for anyone, and are enough to topple women struggling with their own grief, some of whom have nursed their husbands through prolonged illness. Nechama was left alone on the battle field. To whom can she turn?
In the months after the shiva Nechama walked around in a stupor, trying desperately to put together the puzzle pieces of her life, but there always seemed to be some essential pieces missing. Some of them were obvious; the love of her life, her closest confidant, and a very involved parent was no longer there to offer support, advice and practical help. But some of the missing pieces were not things that she expected. Her oldest son began struggling with his Gemara class, and she was not able to help him at all. Hiring a tutor was the obvious solution, but the expense was a burden now that she no longer had her husband’s income. She wanted to return to her teaching job, but she no longer was able to leave the house early enough to teach a full day because she had to be there to send off the kids in the morning, and receive them when they came home – jobs that her husband had been able to fit into his schedule. She cut down on her hours, but then had no way to make up the major cut to her paycheck. In order to make sure that her children had the emotional stability and support that they needed, she spent most of the afternoon talking and playing with them, and once they were asleep she needed to prepare classes. There was no time in her schedule to keep up with the housework, and for the first time since she married she considered hiring some help, but once again her shoestring budget couldn’t support it.
Yad Eliezer's Keren Almanos fund provides widows with a monthly stipend that allows them to stay afloat financially and to focus on the needs of their families without fear of hunger and privation. A careful yet respectful investigation allows Yad Eliezer to clarify what the family’s financial needs truly are, and then discretely deposit them in the almana’s bank account each month. Currently the program provides generous stipends to 739 almanos each month with a yearly budget of $6 million. This program is a lifeline for more than 5100 orphans. There are an additional 19 almanos who have been approved and are waiting for funding. Our goal is to proactively reach out to widow with young children who is living in Eretz Yisrael and who needs our help and insure that her needs are met.
Please join us now and show women like Nechama that they are no longer alone.