Project Spotlight: Christmas in Jerusalem

The Fellowship  |  December 31, 2019

IFCJ volunteers in Jerusalem during Christmas.

As a part of our holiday help this year, not only did we visit Jewish elderly to light Hanukkah menorahs and alleviate loneliness, we also visited the homes of elderly Christians to bring Christmas cheer!

A team of Fellowship volunteers took to the streets dressed in Santa Claus outfits to bring some Christmas spirit into the homes of these precious elderly people. We delivered holiday cookies, heating vouchers, and blankets. During the visits, many of the elderly were moved to tears.

“They didn’t want to let us go,” said a volunteer, Hana. “They wanted us to sit with them longer. So many suffer such terrible loneliness.”

For Our Christian Beneficiaries

In Israel, the needy aren’t just Jewish. Impoverished Israeli Christians also struggle in the winter with the impossible decision of heating their homes or buying medicine. They simply don’t have enough money for both. The realities of poverty sting even more at the holidays. And elderly who live alone feel especially isolated during this time of year when they wish they could be surrounded by loved ones.

“My children live abroad. I raised them and in the end I’m alone,” said one beneficiary, who is 85 years old and suffers from cancer. “Every year I decorate the tree for the holiday and prepare a table, hoping that someone will come visit me.”

This is what she said after spending time with caring Fellowship volunteers: “Thank you so much for coming this year and making me feel as if I’m still alive.”

With the help of Fellowship friends, we visited over 1,000 elderly people to spread joy and light this holy season.