The anticipated winter cold and rain has arrived to Israel. There is even some excited talk about snow landing on Jerusalem and her Northern regions. Yet, for impoverished families and the elderly, winter poses a real threat to their health and even survival.
Colel Chabad, the oldest, continuously operating charity organization in Israel since 1788, has jump-started their winter “Home Heating” campaign.
“Most apartments in Israel, particularly in older buildings where the poor live, lack central heating or even space heaters,” explained Rabbi Shmuel Lipsker, Administrator of Colel Chabad, to Breaking Israel News. “Especially in Jerusalem and northern Israel, residents freeze to the bone. For young children and the old, this often results in serious respiratory illnesses.”
Colel Chabad’s reputation for helping those in need is well known across the country. The organization annually deliver hundreds of space heaters and hot meals to people suffering from the elements. But, shared Rabbi Lipsker to Breaking Israel News, the poverty stricken also cannot afford to run the heaters, even if they have them. The additional expense is way beyond their budget.
“We help over 650 families. Our staff not only delivers the heaters but also provides fuel and electricity subsidies, warm blankets and winterwear.”
Over 400 of these families are widows with orphaned children. Their difficult circumstances make it impossible to work in a full time job. “Colel Chabad helps these struggling families to make it to the end of the month by covering some of their bills, food and childcare expenses,” added Rabbi Lipsker.
As part of their “Home Heating” campaign, Colel Chabad also delivers fresh, hot meals to the elderly. “Not only are old people more prone to illnesses from the winter cold, they also cannot readily or safely leave their homes to get food from our soup kitchens,” noted Rabbi Lipsker to Breaking Israel News. “Therefore, we increase the amount of hot meals we deliver during cold months.“
Though Israeli homes are built of concrete and stone which retain the cold, the work that Colel Chabad performs is anything but stone cold. They do all that they can to protect poor families from Israel’s frigid winter weather and assure that needy children and the elderly are never found to be shivering under threadbare blankets. Their efforts should be able to melt even the coldest of hearts.