Israel is bracing for winter storms this week – weather that is not common in the Holy Land, and for which both residents and the government are often unprepared. But The Jerusalem Post reports that The Fellowship is ready to help Israel’s neediest – the poor and the elderly – as the cold and snow arrives:
Given the impending winter weather, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews will distribute NIS 8.5 million in heating grants to some 25,000 impoverished elderly people as part of their “Warming with Friendship” annual winter campaign on Tuesday.
“During the winter months the plight of the elderly is exacerbated and many of them have to make an impossible choice between heating the house and buying food or medicine,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ, said on Sunday.
The grants, totaling NIS 350 per elderly person, will be distributed by social workers and hundreds of IFCJ volunteers in 62 local authorities throughout the country that do not receive government heating grants for the elderly from the National Insurance Institute.
“The strength of a society is measured in how it treats the weakest links within.
“About a quarter of Israel’s elderly live in poverty and are unable to cover their monthly expenses. The pensions barely cover half of the basic needs of the elderly while the cost of living is only increasing,” Eckstein said.
“We, as a society, cannot allow this situation to persist. I call on the public to join us and help heat the homes and hearts of the elderly,” he said.