I’ve been donating modestly to Yad Eliezer for a number of years. It’s easy in the Jewish calendar to remember to donate. When a religious holiday comes around, it prompts my memory and I make a donation.
It is equally straightforward to set up a recurring donation. For me, I make one-time donations because I prefer not to ‘set it and forget it’. I like what happens in my mind during the process of donating. I like to be reminded of my resistance to being generous.
It gets easier to 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.
Yad Eliezer is a worthy charity and one of Israel’s largest poverty relief agencies. Every week they bundle food and distribute it to needy families.
Here’s some photos I took a few weeks ago at their warehouse in Jerusalem.
The name Yad Eliezer is interesting. Yad means hand, as in a helping hand – and Eliezer was to honour the father of the woman who began the service – cooking and helping families from her kitchen in Jerusalem – starting in 1980.
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 has job training and child mentoring programs.
So how does it do it How does it keep its overheads down? It does it with a small staff and 12,000 volunteers – from active serving servicemen and women, to members of the community who come to help.
That’s how over 96% of the funds it raises goes to needy families. Just 4% for overheads.
I’ve been lucky enough to know someone there who is very focused, very aware of what the issues are and how people tick. His name is Yossi Kaufman and he’s the Director of PR at Yad Eliezer.
I knew him from before he started with the charity, more than twenty years now. Unbelievable.
Yossi’s story is interesting – his mother is from Romania and by dint of luck and bravery she evaded the Holocaust that wiped out the rest of her family.
His father is English and soon after his parents met and married after the War, they emigrated to Canada. When Yossi was 26, he moved to Israel. A few years ago his parents moved there, too.
Here is a link to Yad Eliezer, where you can donate.
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 to the other. It’s easier that way.
Here is a link to Yad Ezra v’ Shulamit, where you can donate.