Project Spotlight: Warming Thousands This Winter

The Fellowship  |  January 24, 2022

Winter aid for elderly in Israel, 2021
(Photo: Eli Mandelbaum)

As temperatures plummet around the parts of the world experiencing the harshness of winter, The Fellowship and our faithful friends continue to warm homes and hearts. The Jerusalem Post tells about the thousands of lives being changed this winter with the gifts of heat and hope:

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) announced Tuesday that it will be providing home heating equipment and donating money to pay for electric bills.

Among the charity provided by the fellowship is a NIS 12.7 million ($4 m.) endowment for personal energy bills and infrastructure, NIS 10.7 million of which will go into heating assistance for elderly and needy families through social services departments in local authorities, along with NIS 660,000 for the purchase of heating equipment and more for the procurement of radiators and blankets.

Some 600,000 IFCJ donors made this latest project possible, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage Israel and compounds the significant difficulties the elderly must endure in the Jewish state, such as income insecurity and poor health.

Last January, a study by the fellowship found that every sixth senior in Israel gives up some need to pay for electricity in the winter. About 175,000 senior citizens reported forgoing other needs in order to meet electricity costs during harsh winters, while over 153,000 give up heating their homes altogether in the winter due to their economic condition and about 40% of households are forced to do so often. In addition, there has been a drastic increase in the number of families applying to welfare departments and aid organizations for help.

“Our oven burned down and our gas was cut off, I have no clothes for the winter and I cannot even afford to buy boots,” said Eden and Israel, parents of three children who received assistance. “We’re constantly busy just trying to survive.”

Yael Eckstein, the fellowship’s president, said “the prolongation of the coronavirus crisis and the increase in heating expenses in winter produces for many in the public a real economic crisis. The reality in which every one of six seniors in Israel gives up some basic need to finance home heating in the winter is difficult to contain.”

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