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The Faces Behind Yad Eliezer

Meet the People Running one of the top Jewish Charities in Israel

by Karen Reiffman

0 Comments | Sunday, November 17, 2019 under Volunteering, Food Boxes, Feed-a-Baby, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program, Widow and Orphan Fund, Job Training, Emergency Fund, Adopt-a-Wedding , Bar Mitzvah Project, Meals-on-Wheels, Shalhevet Early Learning Initiative

“Yad Eliezer” may be two of the most recognized words in the chesed world. The name is synonymous with tzedaka: food aid, winter coat and blanket distribution, support for single mothers, formula for babies, job training, child mentoring initiatives and more than 18 other forms of help for Israel’s poor.
With so many diverse, efficient programs that, on a daily basis, make a real difference in the lives of families who suffer the far-reaching effects of poverty, it can seem sometimes like the help….just happens.

But it doesn’t. It happens because of an invaluable partnership: that of our incredible donors who want to be part of making the difference, and the people behind the scenes at Yad Eliezer, who are driven to do what it takes to get our recipients the assistance they need, in the most effective way possible. 

We enjoy showcasing stories of our generous donors-they come in all ages and live in countries throughout the world. So we thought it would also be nice from time to time, to introduce you to some of the dedicated Yad Eliezer staff, helping you get to know a little bit about them and the crucial work they do.

Here's the first installment of Faces of Yad Eliezer.

Meet Milka.

Position: Intake Coordinator
Length of Employment at Yad Eliezer: 25 years

How did you get your start at Yad Eliezer?
I began working at home, preparing techina in special containers to be used at weddings for the needy. My position then transitioned into food collection coordinator. I would travel from city to city to establish and coordinate food collection points throughout the country. Now I work as the intake coordinator. I get to know the people who come to our office and ask for help.

What’s your favorite part about your job?
To see the smile of an applicant, even though they are facing tough challenges. They go through so much in their lives, just trying to keep everything together. And even if it happens that I can’t get them help with something, I like knowing that they are benefitting just from having someone listen to them, to hear them out-you can tell they need to be heard. And when I can tell them that they will receive financial help, their expression-relief, joy, smiles, tears...there’s nothing like it.

You likely hear many stories every day from a myriad of people-do any stand out to you?
Every story is a world onto itself. One woman, Dana, lost her husband after his battle with leukemia. She was left alone with five very young children and the experience devastated all of them. Besides worrying about supporting her family, she and her kids also needed counseling. She lost weight, she was barely making it through each day-she was really in a bad place. Our Widows & Orphans fund began assisting Dana with expenses-therapy costs, some utility bills, a mentor for her son, things that would stabilize her situation. At one point, the fund helped her attend school and she became a teacher. Now she is working, active, she is taking care of her family. She told me, “Yad Eliezer gave me the ability to live-you gave me an amazing life.”

After 25 years of employment at Yad Eliezer, what would you say is something important you learned?
We must respect people in need. They teach us about perspective in life, what’s really valuable and what’s really important. We need to be appreciative of what we have and not take things for granted. I’m constantly inspired by people’s resilience, the way they continue to get up every morning and keep going despite the hardships they face.

Is there something important for people outside Yad Eliezer to know?
There is tremendous thought, consideration and care behind everything we do. We work to provide for peoples’ immediate needs, and then some. We always ask, “In what additional ways can we help?”


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