“I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Psalms 63:4 (The Israel Bible™)
With the end of 2017 and the start of 2018, the New Year is a time usually filled with hopes for good fortune. However, the latest National Council for the Child annual report just published that 33 percent of children living in Israel live in poverty, along with 1.8 million citizens. Food prices in Israel are 20 to 60 percent above the OECD average, including basic necessities like dairy products and eggs. Yet, the average salary is 17 percent lower than that in developed Western countries.
Therefore, the need to subsidize the lives of struggling Israelis is crucial for their survival. Israel’s largest and longest running charity organization, Colel Chabad has been identifying the needs of Israel’s poor, working tirelessly and creatively to help since 1788.
The notable organization just published their end-of-year statistics of last year’s accomplishments, and the numbers are impressive.
• Colel Chabad runs 20 soup kitchens throughout Israel, serving 1,000,000 meals a year and 3,000 meals daily
• Their Blavatnik food bank, located in 48 Israeli cities ensures food security for 10,800 families each month
• 4,000 seniors receive boxes of food and household supplies each month
• 1,500 seniors receive meals-on-wheels each month
• 2,500 families, including 100,000 children receive holiday food and clothing shopping vouchers. This program is in partnership with IFCJ’s Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
• 1,023 orphans are given tutors, mentors and educational scholarships through the Chesed Menachem Mendel Orphan Intervention Program
• 119 Bar Mitzvahs and 45 Bat Mitzvahs were arranged for orphans through Chesed Menachem Mendel Orphan Intervention Program
• 2 State of the art Multiple Sclerosis Centers. Setting the standard for the advanced care of MS patients
• 13 Larisa Blavatnik Day Care Centers providing working families with inexpensive care and education for their young children, enabling mothers to go to work with peace of mind
• Colel Chabad ensures that children hospitalized during Hanukkah enjoy the holiday by providing entertainment, menorah lighting, traditional foods and gifts to the sick at Schneider Children’s Hospital, Tel Hashomer, Wolfson, Barzilai, Kaplan, Soroka and other hospitals throughout Israel
• Public Passover Seders to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday
• During the summer months, Colel Chabad runs a hospital camp six days a week at Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital with 45 pediatric beds and Rehovot’s Kaplan hospital with 80 beds. There was no charge to either the hospitals or the children’s parents for this much needed activity.
Israel’s National Insurance Institute defines living in poverty as having a monthly income of less than NIS 3,158 ($823). A poor family of four makes less than NIS 8,086 ($2,107) a month, and a family of eight makes under NIS 13,139 ($3,423).
Historically, the New Year is a time to turn chaos into order and start fresh by paying off debts, returning borrowed objects, reflecting on one’s shortcomings, mending quarrels, giving charity and praying for a clean slate. Yet, without the dedicated help of Colel Chabad, Israel’s impoverished citizens would not even be able to dream of such a moment in time. “It is only through the generous donations of our supporters that we can maintain our enormous network of charitable operations”, told Rabbi Shmuel Lipsker, administrator for Colel Chabad to Breaking Israel News. “Colel Chabad does all it can to help Israel’s citizens have a good today and an even better tomorrow.”
To donate to Colel Chabad, please visit here.