Israel's winter weather has brought with it both good and bad news to the country. The good is reflected in the much needed rains that nourish fields countrywide and fill the Kineret (Sea of Galilee), one of Israel's main water sources. Unfortunately the bad is reflected in weather related accidents and the especially cold temperatures that have been making the lives of countless impoverished Israelis, so desperate and miserable.
One Ynet article describes the findings of the recently released annual poverty report by the National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII), which details alarming statistics including the following:
-the percentage of the impoverished population in Israel grew to 20.4%, up from 19.4%
-the percentage of children living in poverty jumped from 27.1% to 29.1%
A separate article profiles just a few of the many senior citizens who are living in poverty (18.8% of the country’s elderly) and the effects the winter is having on them: living in frigid apartments due to the inability to pay for heating. Going to bed wearing layers of clothing because they don’t have warm blankets. Getting sick due to the cold and dampness in the home, but being unable to purchase medicine due to lack of money.
These stories are all too familiar in the offices of Yad Eliezer. And an untold number of others just like them across the spectrum of the Israeli poor (including whole families) come to us through applications asking for winter related assistance. So we do our best to provide the funds that can pay the electric bill. Or supply coats or blankets (sometimes both). Or give out food coupons enabling needy families to prepare warm, nourishing meals. Or provide help for one expense in the home so it won’t be at the expense of another.
The percentages of Israel’s poor is so high that the need is never ending. We’ll continue to do our best, but donors are the ones that really help us make a difference. This frigid winter, by donating to our Winter Warmth Campaign, you help us do even better.