HOW TO HELP-While not widely publicized, Israel continues to suffer a humanitarian crisis. Israel's poorest, most vulnerable citizens go hungry daily. While Iranian and Arab Oil money pours into Hezbollah, Hamas and the communities that raise and harbor terrorists, Israeli charities depend on us. There is a Hebrew word that cannot be easily translated- it means "poorer than poor." This is the situation for many desperate families in Israel who's lives have collapsed because of deaths, injuries, closed businesses, damaged homes, and because of cutbacks in social services, as this tiny country deals with the expenses for self defense during ongoing (often unreported) attacks and after so many wars.
We are often asked where to direct assistance. Here are a few of the organizations that have consistently stepped up to the plate when needed. They all rely on volunteers and financial assistance:
Yad Eliezer- (96.3% tzedaka, volunteer-run with very minimal administrative costs) Donating many thousands of meals, food baskets, baby formula, shoes, and other assistance to Israel's most needy on a regular basis: www.yadeliezer.org
Meir Panim- one of Israel's largest soup kitchen networks. They also provide meals to undernourished school children, for many of which it is their only real meal all day. Meals and gifts can be purchased directly from their site: www.meirpanim.org
Magen David Adom- Israel’s emergency medical service needs ambulances, medical supplies, helmets, flak jackets, oxygen tanks and training equipment. Donations can be made thru the US headquarters: American Friends of Magen David Adom: www.afmda.org.
Karmey Hesed- providing food service, clothing, emergency prescription drugs, free loans and emergency utility assistance to the needy in Beitar Illit and other Jerusalem suburbs. www.karmeyhesed.org
Ezrat Avot- providing services and resources for Israel's elderly residents, with a free dining room in their senior center, and meals-on-wheels and holiday food deliveries. www.ezratavot.org
Eshel Binyomin Zefat- Soup kitchens and food service in the holy city of Safed, run by Kollel Chabad: http://www.ebz.org.il
Yad Sarah- provides medical support services in Israel, including homecare, transportation and free wheelchairs, medical furniture and equipment for Israel's ill and disabled. www.friendsofyadsarah.org
Lev u'Neshama- a small but important volunteer-based charitable organization that provides food, clothing and crisis services for the very needy in the holy city of Tzefat: www.levuneshama.com
Jerusalem Open House- Free restaurant in Jerusalem. jerusalemopenhouse.com
Matan B'Seiser Bambi- providing for Jerusalem's poor, mostly with emergency cash gifts delivered anonomously: www.matanbseterbambi.org
The Lone Soldier Center- seeing to the needs of the thousands of IDF soldiers who are orphans, new immigrants, and volunteers from abroad, who have no family in Israel. www.lonesoldiercenter.com
The Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers- www.mahal2000.com/awis-e/ or to their American partners: http://www.israelsoldiers.org
ZAKA Rescue and Recovery- zakausa.org or zakaisrael.org