“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” Isaiah 58:7 (The Israel Bible™)
As the temperatures in Israel drop and the weather gets colder, Colel Chabad is doing its part to bring warmth to many Israelis who cannot afford to heat their homes. Colel Chabad is one of the oldest and largest charitable organizations in Israel, established in 1788.
Homes in Israel are often built from stone, and, more often than not, lack proper insulation. While this building style is comfortable during the Holy Land’s hot summer months, in the winter, the stones trap the cold, often making it feel colder inside the home than out.
For thousands of families that cannot afford proper winter clothing or heat, winter is an especially dangerous time. Colel Chabad does all that it can to warm the bodies and souls of poor Israelis throughout the country.
For example, in Israel’s northern and mountainous region of Tzfat, the organization has helped thousands of families over the past 10 years stay warm and healthy during the cold winter months.
Colel Chabad, which also runs soup kitchens throughout Israel along with other important programs for the needy, helps hundreds of thousands of families and individuals all year long. Tzfat is a particular hub of activity as poverty is rampant in the city. According to Yorom Mauda, director of programming for Colel Chabad in Tzfat, the organization provides hundreds of children with warm clothing for the winter.
“Once the weather turns cold, we ask schools to let us know which kids are showing up in sandals or without coats and hats,” explained Mauda to Breaking Israel News. “The school advisors then look into the matter and provide Colel Chabad with a list of children in need.”
Colel Chabad gives each needy child a shopping voucher worth approximately 200 shekels (about $50.00) which can be used at local clothing stores. Mauda said that Colel Chabad used to give jackets, gloves, shoes and other winter wear to the children directly. However, following a reevaluation of the program, they realized that giving shopping vouchers allows children to enjoy a shopping experience with their families, something rare for impoverished kids.
Colel Chabad also maintains a warm relationship with Tzfat’s welfare office. This is another discreet way the organization finds out about families in need of help with heating and winter wear. The good work of the organization is so well-known that sometimes friends, neighbors or relatives turn to Colel Chabad directly to get help for a loved one. Colel Chabad delivers space heaters to keep homes cozy during the cold Tzfat winter.
Though these space heaters are literally life-saving, Colel Chabad is aware that if a family cannot afford to purchase a heater, they also cannot afford to pay the inflated electric bills which come with them. To alleviate this added burden, the organization pays a portion of recipient’s electric bills to help defray the additional costs.
“The budget for Colel Chabad’s heating program is enormous,” noted Mauda to Breaking Israel News. “We can only continue to help the many people who turn to us through the generous donations of caring people throughout the world.”
To donate to Colel Chabad’s heating program, please visit here.