Sep 27, 2022
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In a heartwarming turn of events, the Colel Chabad charity organization received a generous donation from a group of Holocaust survivors to aid the victims of a recent devastating fire in Israel’s northern city of Safed (Tzfat).

The group of elderly immigrants and Holocaust survivors who organized the collection are participants in the Colel Chabad-run “Day Care Center” which provides hot meals and activities for hundreds of needy people across Israel. When Rabbi Baruch Arister, Director of Colel Chabad’s Day Care Centers, mentioned that the organization had set up a fund to help the fire victims, the elderly group decided to mobilize their resources and help.

“They expressed their joy at being able to give to others,” said Rabbi Yoram Mauda, Director of Colel Chabad’s Safed branch. “Many of the survivors were happy to be involved in the fundraising efforts, even though they may not have a lot themselves. When I told them about the [fire victim] families still moving between temporary apartments and showing them pictures, they called friends and gathered mattresses and additional needed supplies.”

The survivors collectively donated about NIS 10,000 (about $3,000) which will be directly transferred towards the rehabilitation of the burned houses.

The Safed fire ravaged through the streets earlier in July, destroying several homes and sending many to the hospital. The Colel Chabad charity organization immediately set in motion an urgent fundraising campaign to help the homeless families with the goal of raising $240,000 to help them rebuild their lives.

Rabbi Mauda explained to Breaking Israel News that many of the affected families were already poor and receiving help from Colel Chabad. The active and caring organization first provided immediate relief to the fire victims by giving them food, diapers, towels, sheets, hygiene products, and clothes. Now, they are using donated funds to get the families furniture, appliances, and other necessities.

Colel Chabad is Israel’s longest continuously running and respected charity. It supports families and individuals throughout the Holy Land with an expansive network of social welfare programs which include the daily running of 24 soup kitchens, helping orphans and their families, assisting Holocaust survivors, and coming to the aid of anyone in need. Colel Chabad has a particularly strong presence in Safed, as the city has a high percentage of struggling elderly and impoverished families.

To help the families affected by the Safed fire, please click here.