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Summer Tzedaka

Removing the decision of which child will have to stay home

by KR

0 Comments | Wednesday, July 21, 2021 under Summer Relief Campaign

Summer vacation in Israel, “Chofesh HaGadol”, can be described in many words, but two of them are:


And it feels even longer and even hotter when there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to do in Israel over the summer, especially since for now, most corona restrictions have been eased or lifted. There are camps for kids, numerous historic and entertainment destinations for families to visit, tiyulim to go on, and fun activities to participate in, both during the day and at night. All it takes is a bit of research and planning. And, of course, money. Money for camp fees. Money for transportation. Money for food and snacks. Money for entrance fees.

Money for essentials, not for summer fun

It’s the same money that, in needy households, has to be used instead, for food. And the electric bill. It’s money that’s scraped together to help buy a new pair of shoes, or is being saved up, shekel by shekel, to (hopefully!) buy a uniform or new supplies for the upcoming school year. Basically, that money isn’t a given for poor families throughout Israel and it isn’t available for summer vacation. And when it isn’t a given, it means that summer camp and summer trips just aren’t happening. Which means that summer break translates into eight-ish long weeks of sitting at home (sometimes with air conditioning, sometimes without). It can mean eight-ish weeks of too much unstructured free time, and for kids at-risk, too many opportunities to get into trouble. 

When Yad Eliezer established its Summer Relief Campaign, it was because we knew that countless poor families face this exact challenge every year: a long summer break, but no money for any of the “usual” expenses that the season brings. Our decades of experience and knowledge make us among the top Jewish charities in Israel, bringing this kind of effective, practical assistance.

Yad Eliezer: relief for impoverished families

And this campaign has become a lifesaver of a program. Every year, donations bring incredible relief to needy families of all types (including single parent homes, households dealing with severely limited incomes or complete unemployment, illness and other crises), allowing kids to go to camp and have the same experiences as their friends, without feeling the usual lack that they often do in other aspects of their lives. It’s also a blessing for struggling parents, helping them cover their families’ costs during the summer, retaining a sense of “normal” in their homes.

The feedback we get from parents illustrates how much of a difference we can make…

"We didn’t have to calculate who really needed to go, and who would have to stay home..."

The N. family writes:

“Dear Yad Eliezer,
How should we begin this letter?
With expressions of tremendous gratitude for all your help! Specifically now, during the summer when every family is straddling numerous expenses, including the purchase of school supplies for the start of the new school year plus expenses for the summer break. There are no words that can describe the generous help that, in your zechus, is enabling us to send our children to camp. We didn’t have to struggle with this expense or say “no” to one child or another. We didn’t have to calculate who really needed to go, and who would have to stay home. You gave our children the opportunity to enjoy, to grow in positive environments and not wander in the street. And in providing funds for this, you’ve actually provided them with ruchniyus. You are safeguarding our treasures. And you’ve also provided us, as parents, the opportunity to sit during these Three Weeks in the ohel of Torah and in solace after what has been an especially difficult year. You’ve enabled us to gather strength as we prepare for this time period when there is a break but there is also the need to keep our children busy. Thanks to your help we are in a place of Yishuv HaDa’as U'menucha, and not one of worry and strain.
We are sending you tremendous thanks from the bottom of our hearts!”

There are still several weeks left to bring help and relief to parents and kids in need. Help make it a summer they’ll remember - not for how long it was or for how hot it was, but for how much they were able to enjoy it.


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