Yad Eliezer believes that no orphan should go to bed hungry. Our communities have both the desire and the means to ensure that no orphans are left lacking essentials. At Yad Eliezer, the job is to connect donors who share in this vision with the children who most need their help.
When the head of a family passes on, the whole community offers comfort and support. But what happens when the shivah is over and everyone goes home? The new widow is left bereft, trying to fill the role of both father and mother, breadwinner and homemaker, trying to nurture her heartbroken children and wondering if she will have the strength to rebuild. Those tasks are a lot for anyone, and enough to topple women struggling with their own grief, some of whom have nursed their husbands through prolonged illness. A mother is left alone on the battlefield. To whom can she turn?
Yad Eliezer’s Keren Almanos fund provides widows with a monthly stipend that allows them to stay afloat financially and to focus on the needs of their families without fear of hunger and privation. A careful yet respectful investigation allows Yad Eliezer to clarify what the family’s financial needs truly are, and then discreetly deposit funds in the almanah’s bank account each month. As of this writing, the program provides generous stipends to 458 almanos each month, with a yearly budget of $3.6 million. This program runs with absolutely no overhead, meaning that the full amount of every donation is transferred to the recipient. There are an additional 34 almanos who have been approved and are waiting for funding. The goal is to proactively reach out to every financially insecure almanah in Israel who has young children and to ensure that their needs are met. Not every problem can be solved, but we can provide shelter, food, and clothing to all of the orphans in the community. They just need your help.
Some donors were orphans themselves. One donor, Moshe R. said, “I know all too well what it’s like to experience the ups and downs of childhood with the vulnerability that comes from not having a father to turn to. I know that without a father’s income, I had to forgo many things that my peers took for granted. If all of Am Yisrael is one big family, then these almanos are our sisters, struggling to raise our nieces and nephews. I know that my mother worried constantly about how she would provide proper meals and clothing for me and my sisters. I sleep better at night knowing that my help is easing the burden of someone else’s mother, and I know that my help will make a huge difference in allowing those children to grow into healthy, balanced adults. It’s hard to put into words how much this z’chus means to me.”
While protecting the privacy of the recipients, Yad Eliezer shares with potential donors a description of the circumstances of the families that they could be helping. The donor then has the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a concrete difference for an almanah and her yesomim. Who can hear stories like these and not be moved to help?
Leah’s husband passed away less than two weeks ago after a very brief and traumatic bout with pancreatic cancer. Leah, who is hearing-impaired herself, was left alone with seven children, one of whom requires extensive and costly speech therapy. In addition, Leah is seven months pregnant with her eighth child. When Yad Eliezer heard about Leah’s need, is there any way they could have turned her away? Where else could she turn? What would become of the children?
When a Yad Eliezer representative visited their home the day after the shivah ended, he wanted to see what the family’s needs were, and how Yad Eliezer could be most helpful. He saw a nine-year-old boy walking around the apartment and turning off all the lights. When his sister asked him what he was doing, he answered, “We don’t have anyone to pay our bills now. I don’t know how we will be able to eat next week. But at least I can save electricity.”
Women like Leah and Chava, who are so alone and so vulnerable, are left to care for young orphans. The weight of their responsibilities can be a crushing burden if they have no one to turn to. Generous donations to Yad Eliezer enable them to sustain and grow this crucial program. As a result, almanos know that they are no longer alone. Yad Eliezer is there to lighten their burden, and they will not be abandoned.
Aside from the monthly stipend that bereft families receive, they may be eligible for more of Yad Eliezer’s programs, including the big brothers and big sisters program, bar mitzvah twinning, food boxes, medical support, adopt-a-wedding, and job training. The Torah teaches us repeatedly to care for widows and orphans, spare them from pain and suffering, and do all that we can to bring joy to their lives. Yad Eliezer has created a system that provides this essential support with dignity. With your help, Yad Eliezer hopes to one day be able to state with confidence that no widow or orphan in Israel is lacking essentials. Join Yad Eliezer in making this dream a reality.
For information about sponsoring a family, please contact the Yad Eliezer office at 718-258-1580 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations may be sent to American Friends of Yad Eliezer Almanah Fund, 1102 E. 26th St., Brooklyn, NY 11210, or made online at YadEliezer.org. v