Yad Eliezer Poverty Relief Agency

Yad Eliezer is one of Israel’s largest poverty relief agencies. Every week they bundle food and distribute it to needy families in the country. I’ve been donating small amounts. In the Jewish calendar it’s easy to get a prompt to remember when to donate. A religious holiday comes around, and it prompts my memory to make a donation.

I make one-time donations rather than recurring donations because I prefer not to ‘set it and forget it’. When I donate I like to be reminded of my resistance to being generous. That said, it gets a bit easier to donate and be generous the more I do it.

Let’s say it is a month before a certain holiday. I tell myself I’m going to donate. Then the day(s) of the holiday get nearer and I go to the website and donate.

“What we make a habit of is what we become.”

That works both ways, of course – both for good and for not good – so it’s good to make a habit of doing something that is good.

The name Yad Eliezer means the hand of Eliezer. Yad means hand, as in a helping hand. And Eliezer was to honour the father of the woman who began the service in 1980 by cooking and helping families from her kitchen in Jerusalem.

Today, Yad Eliezer distributes essential food, clothing, and household items to over 18,000 famlies a year. Its mandate is ‘to engender economic recovery and social development in Israel’ and so as well as distributing food it offers job training and child mentoring programs.

It keeps its overheads down with a small staff and 12,000 volunteers – from active serving servicemen and women, to members of the community who come to help.

Here is a link to Yad Eliezer, where you can donate if you wish.

Yad Ezra v’ Shulamit

Yad Eliezer is not the only charity in Israel to which I donate. There is also Yad Ezra v’ Shulamit. Whatever I give to one, I give the same amount to the other. It’s easier that way. Yad Ezra V’Shulamit was founded in 1998 by Aryeh Lurie, who grew up poor, and who named the organisation after his parents. Today it distributes 3,000 food baskets a week and gives vocational assistance and financial help to families..

Here is a link to Yad Ezra v’ Shulamit, where you can donate if you wish.

Poverty In Israel

If you are surprised that there is a need for organisation like these in Israel, there is. Israel is a young country, pulling itself up out of the desert, and in the nature of things there is poverty and sections of the community who are left behind.