This past week two different families were referred to me (which means they need some kind of humanitarian help).
The first is a woman named Yehudit who lives near Bnei Brak in the central district. Her case is special because she is 75% disabled in the feet/legs. Yehudit is not an immigrant but was born in Israel, and she calls herself a “vatika” (a senior citizen). She recently got an apartment for the first time, but she has nothing to put in it, so it is empty. She basically needs everything. Yehudit doesn’t have a mattress to sleep on.
With Israel Relief Aid’s network of aid centers, there are two aid centers not too far away from Yehudit, as well as a few centers from other organizations, so I was able to give Yehudit a list of many places to turn and get help.
In so many cases with Israelis living under the poverty line, there’s someone in the family that has a medical struggle preventing them from working normally. This is the case also with the second family that was referred to me this week.
The Mizrachi family had a tragedy: a child passed away and the parents are “sitting shiva” (the Israeli tradition after the death of a family member. The mother, Ayela, has severe arthritis, so getting up and down from a chair is very painful; standing up to cook is difficult. However, with the loss of her child, she had no motivation to cook, and the pain exacerbated with a heart ache at the same time. The Mizrachis are living on a teachers’ stipends (very low retirement stipend). So, they do have “bare bones” money coming in every month that covers essentials only.
However, right now, the Mizrachi family needed help with food, during the 7-day mourning period and asked for help. To many Israelis, the fact that there is money coming in to cover just essentials, is in their minds “comfortable living”. The struggle gets so much worse if the essentials cannot be covered.
By the way, of course, we got food bags to the Mizrachi family before the Shabbat closure.