As the school year begins in Israel, as it is for schoolchildren around the world, so many youngsters live in poverty and do not have the necessities that will help them grow and learn. The Jerusalem Post's Carmit Sapir Weitz writes about a Fellowship-supported program that provides these, the Holy Land's neediest children, with backpacks so that they can start the year prepared to succeed:
This type of charity is well known to Rabbi Yaakov Globerman, the head of the Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand) charity, which was established 16 years ago with basketball star Pini Gershon to help thousands of needy families.
Yad B’Yad caters to the needs of the most desperate citizens of Israel – Holocaust survivors, single parents, handicapped veterans, lonely elderly and new immigrants. Without Yad B’Yad’s critical aid, supported by funds from the IFCJ’s generous donors, these recipients would be without help and hope. Based in Lod, a city that has been ravaged by crime and drugs in recent years, Yad B’Yad provides needy people throughout Israel with food, furniture, clothing, shoes, beds, blankets, and winter coats.
One of Globerman’s projects is “A Backpack for Everyone,” which is financially supported by the IFCJ.
“The IFCJ really helps out. They donate a lot,” he says. “This year we are giving out 25,000 new knapsacks and writing sets, which include a pencil case, pens, pencils, notebooks and even wrapping paper for books and notebooks.”
One year, a principal in southern Israel contacted Globerman on the first day of school after noticing that a pair of brothers didn’t come to school on the first day of classes. After visiting them in their home and speaking with their mother, he understood that the children weren’t interested in coming to school because they had old and tattered knapsacks. Their mother wasn’t able to buy them new bags, but the next day, Globerman arranged for them to receive new knapsacks.
Rabbi Eckstein sees education as key to the social development of a country...