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Heat, a Coat and Shoes

Three things Malka's family needs this winter

by KR

0 Comments | Wednesday, February 07, 2024 under Winter Warmth Campaign

“I am the only one earning a salary, my husband isn’t working. We can’t heat the home, the rooms are extremely cold. My husband doesn’t have a coat that closes and he also doesn’t have proper shoes. The rain gets into them and he has an infection in his foot.”

…reads this request that came into our office just a couple of days ago. We learned that Malka, her husband and their six children live in Jerusalem and the winter is not treating them kindly.

Situated in the Mediterranean, it may seem like it should always be warm in Israel. But as anyone who has ever experienced an Israeli winter knows, the weather can be cruel. The cold penetrates the country’s poorly insulated apartments, the stone walls trapping it inside where it simply lingers, making the interiors frigid. (Often rain leaks in, too.) It’s unbearable - miserable inside without heat. And trying to function in a normal way is nearly impossible. But the F.’s, like countless families, can’t afford that luxury.

Paying for one need means sacrificing another

Increased costs of living are impacting so many, including families that were once considered “average” - families that in the past, just managed to get by. Parents truly are being forced to choose between necessities: Sufficient food vs. the utility bill. Medications vs. a good winter coat. Rent vs. overdue school fees and so many other basics. Essentials like these should all be afforded to everyone but aren’t, and paying for one comes at the cost of something else. Unfortunately, the hardest hit families are going without not just one, but many of them. Or, they’re borrowing money from gemachim and taking out expensive loans to try and keep up, getting caught in rolling debt that traps them and their children for years. Finance and bankruptcy problems won't be far behind. 

And then of course, there's a warNumerous issues since October 7 that include job loss and unemployment, severe emotional trauma demanding costly therapy, displacement expenses and upheaval are presenting families with added financial challenges that most are experiencing for the first time.

In the F.’s case, on paper their most urgent needs are heat, and a proper coat and shoes for Malka’s husband. But those are just the ones she told us about; our 40+ years of experience tells us it’s likely there are many others behind the scenes. 

American Friends of Yad Eliezer/B’ezri will help Malka with her heat, a coat and shoes, and will fill in other vital gaps for thousands of other families - this month and every month. As an Israeli charity with just 4% overhead, we use every dollar as effectively as possible to ensure families like Malka’s are getting the relief they desperately need. 

That’s what we’re here for. And your tzedaka makes it happen.


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