PHOTO ESSAY: When an IDF Soldier Found Himself Destitute, a Small Israeli Charity Stepped Up

“And when thou lettest him go free from thee, thou shalt not let him go empty; thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy threshing-floor, and out of thy winepress; of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.” Deuteronomy 15:13-14 (The Israel Bible™)

Those who have experienced the work and dedication of Aryeh Weingarten, Director of Karmey Chesed, a small, Israel-based charity organization with a big heart, state that he is an amazing man who does all that he can to help those in need. “When someone asks for help, how can I turn him away empty handed?” Weingarten humbly asked Breaking Israel News.

Karmey Chesed has a list of innovative programs which aim to help as many people as possible while keeping overhead costs low. These include its Green Charity Program, which collects, refurbishes and delivers second-hand furniture to those who consider this a first-rate gift. Karmey Chesed also helps impoverished people pay their utility bills, receive food and cleaning supplies, assists needy Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers, and more.  

“I pray every night for the funds to fully help everyone who comes to my door,” Weingarten expressed to Breaking Israel News. “There just isn’t enough money to help all of the people I know who need assistance. It is very difficult to tell someone ‘I don’t the money yet but I am working on it.’”

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When Weingarten discusses needy people showing up at his door, he means this literally. He freely gives out his personal phone number and address to anyone who asks. “Though I strive to meet the physical needs of impoverished people, that isn’t always possible with the limited funding we have sometimes. However, at least I can help satisfy their emotional needs for a listening ear and a warm heart over a cup of tea,” he said.

It recently came to the attention of Karmey Chesed that an IDF soldier from an abusive home had no place to live. He was given an unfurnished caravan on a kibbutz to stay. However, the caravan did not even have a kitchen.

(Photo: Karmey Chesed)
Karmey Chesed volunteers stand next to a bookshelf they built for an IDF soldier. (Photo: Karmey Chesed)

Karmey Chesed came to the rescue through their Green Charity Program. Volunteers put in a kitchen and delivered a refrigerator, stove top, bed, table, chairs, a couch, boxes of food, cleaning supplies and more. “When we hear about needy soldiers, we know that we can turn to Karmey Chesed for assistance,” expressed Shula, a community member who volunteers her time helping needy soldiers. “Aryeh will always go the extra mile to get what we need to help whoever asks.”

(Photo: Karmey Chesed)
(Photo: Karmey Chesed)

As the food and furniture were organized in the soldier’s caravan, he looked around emotionally and stated, “It’s as though light has come back into my life and home. Thank you so much!”

A new table for an IDF soldier (Photo: Karmey Chesed)
A new table for an IDF soldier (Photo: Karmey Chesed)
A brand new mattress for an IDF soldier. (Photo: Karmey Chesed)
A brand new mattress for an IDF soldier. (Photo: Karmey Chesed)