Whoever Is Kind to the Poor | IFCJ
Skip Navigation

Whoever Is Kind to the Poor

March 16, 2017

Dear Friend of Israel

Fifteen years ago, when I made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), I visited East Jerusalem to see what the situation was like in this economically depressed area. I was with a social worker and we visited several needy families. It was a rainy and cold day and I noticed a 7-year-old boy with no coat or boots.

I asked the social worker why this child didn’t have such basic necessities, and she said that it simply wasn’t in the budget. As we prepared to leave, I watched the social worker return to the child’s mother and give her money from her own pocket. 

I learned this scenario wasn’t rare. Many social workers have a long list of needs they are unable to meet either due to limited social services funding or government red tape. Often, they reach into their own wallets when faced with such unmet needs.

Thanks to The Fellowship’s faithful donors, I was in a position to do something. We set up the Kupat Yedidut (Fellowship Fund) program to help these social workers meet the needs of people who might otherwise fall through the cracks. Social workers actually see the poverty and pain in these depressed neighborhoods. We knew we needed to equip them to meet those needs.

Now, at the beginning of each year, we allocate funds to Israel’s neediest cities – currently, more than 200. Those funds can then be distributed by the social workers as needs arise. Through the Kupat Yedidut program, we provide needy families, children, and elderly with clothing, home repairs, dental and medical care, transportation to medical treatments, hearing aids, wheelchairs, payment for rent or utility bills, food cards, and other items as needed.

It’s easy to assume the poor are at least partially, if not completely, responsible for their predicament, But I have seen with my own eyes how many hard-working, motivated individuals find themselves without money for essentials due to circumstances that are completely out of their control. What a privilege it is to be able to help them, as well as the social workers who dedicate their lives to caring for them.

And what a privilege it is to be in partnership with you, Fellowship friends who take to heart the words of Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord.” With your continued support, this work will go on, and continue to be a blessing to Israel and her people.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

In Loving Memory of Rabbi Yecheil Eckstein 1951-2019

Honor Rabbi Eckstein

You can make a tribute gift to continue the holy work Rabbi Eckstein began 36 years ago.

Donate Now
IDF medical staff helps child

A Country with a Big Heart

While the world so often focuses on Israel’s faults — be they real or imagined — the true heritage of the Jewish state and her people is one of peace, freedom, and helping those in need.

Read More

Rabbi Eckstein at Auschwitz

We Remember, We Act

As we remember the terrible legacy of the Holocaust, we act to create a legacy of hope that provides Holocaust survivors in Israel and the former Soviet Union with a measure of peace and comfort in their twilight years.

Read More

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 27, 1967

Creating a Just World

As the U.S. observes Martin Luther King Day, let us remember that, as Jews and Christians, we must reject hatred, speak out against injustice, and be united by the shared tenets of our faiths.

Read More