“For You meet him with the blessings of goodness...” Psalm 21:3a
For many years VFI has supported a special-needs school in Jerusalem in various ways. The students there suffer from emotional and behavioral problems. Recently, the principal asked for a donation of iPads. We were happy to step in and fulfill this request. The iPads will enable the students to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of using the internet, while in a supervised environment.
Many Holocaust survivors in Israel live by themselves, often without nearby support. To ease their fears of being alone in an emergency, VFI supplies hundreds of subscriptions to panic button services. In cases of physical or emotional stress, this service can save a life.
One service representative called a subscriber as part of the "Phone a Friend" program. When the representative asked the woman how she was feeling, she said that she felt weak and dizzy and had stomach pain. A doctor was sent to her home, who diagnosed her with dehydration, and she was taken to a hospital to receive treatment.
Recent reports indicate that some families are actually using their refrigerators as closets because they don't have food at home, so we were excited when a group of volunteers came to help us pack 20,000 food packages. In one month we donated 16,000 packages throughout the country. Each food package contains rice, soy flakes, dehydrated vegetables, and spices. The balance of these special packages will be distributed to disadvantaged people in the community.
A group of 30 Holocaust survivors was recently given a special day trip to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The day included a performance of Broadway hits (during which the English-speaking group was in fits of laughter as the performer sang "Do You Love Me?" from Fiddler on the Roof) and a tour of two new exhibits, “Victory Over the Sun: Russian Avant-Garde and Beyond” and “Maimonides: A Legacy in Script.” Overall, the day was a great success and brought joy to those survivors who would have otherwise stayed home.
About a year ago, David* injured his leg and could no longer work. Sadly, this led to divorce, and David was left homeless.
He and his youngest daughter, who serves in the army, live on the streets less than a mile from the Gaza Strip. Sometimes, they have no choice but to sleep on the streets, exposed to rocket attacks, the cold, and harassment by troubled youth. VFI is ensuring that David and his daughter are supported with financial gifts, warm blankets, and food.
Dina* and her three children live in a rental apartment in the southern region of Israel. The children's father has had no contact with them for many years. In 2013, Dina was injured in a terror attack and has since suffered from a disability that often confines her to bed. Recently, her health was getting worse and, as a result, she had no income. Then, Dina was told she had to vacate her apartment. In her desperate situation, we managed to help her for a few months so that the family had a roof over their heads.
It is hard to believe that many schools don’t receive a budget for the nutritional security of their students. They must rely on charitable donations to supply the children with the most basic necessity. In December we gave our last donation of 2018 towards nutritional security for children and youth and will continue in 2019. One of the school principals recently wrote to thank us:
"To my great joy, and thanks to your generous donation, we are now able to provide our students with breakfast as well. I must tell you that the fact that they come and eat breakfast contributes a lot to their ability to concentrate and improves their chances of succeeding in their studies.”
Thousands of at-risk children live in sheltering homes called Bayit Cham ("warm home" in Hebrew) throughout Israel. There, loving teams care for them and provide them with support, hot meals, enrichment, life skills, values, and normative social surroundings. VFI's goal is to help them grow into independent, responsible adults who are able to give back to society, by advocating for their nutritional security and providing backpacks, academic equipment, scholarships, and cultural events.
This year we are increasing our giving in faith. Our goal is to reach over 700 families with Passover aid, including terror victims, Holocaust survivors, lone soldiers and needy families. Each family will receive $100 to $150. Please consider donating as we prepare to distribute financial aid for Passover in the coming month.
Thank you for helping us reach our goal.
Barry & Batya
*names have been changed