Thankfully this winter is proving to be a rainy one, which is wonderful for Israel's water reservoirs. But it also happens to be extremely cold, a not-so-wonderful factor that adds strain and suffering into the lives of needy families who can't afford to heat their homes.
The number of families in need has dramatically increased in Israel, up 7.5 % compared to pre-pandemic figures, with about one million homes now in crisis mode according to surveys. Families are struggling to pay for food, rent, arnona (monthly municipality taxes), water and all their other basic necessities.
Left with no options, parents are finding themselves being forced to give up on using the heat this winter because the cost of electricity is just too high: if keeping it on means giving up on groceries or racking up an unpayable bill that results in disconnection, the choice is, unfortunately, all too clear.
This translates into parents and children living in frigid temperatures inside the home, trying to keep warm under layers of clothing and coats, day and night. It also extends to foregoing other basics like daily hot showers due to the cost of heating the water in the dud shemesh (water boiler).
Our newest initiative, the Electricity Support program, works to bring urgent relief for families in need-helping them pay their electric bills so their quality of life doesn't deteriorate further. Consistent with all our programs, it helps them retain a sense of normalcy despite the challenges they constantly face. As a Jerusalem charity that reaches families no matter where they live in the country, stabilizing homes through practical support is a primary goal American Friends of Yad Eliezer constantly works to reach.
With electricity costs expected to increase next month, we also anticipate an increase - in applications for help. Please donate your tzedaka to the Electricity Support program to keep families comfortable and warm in their homes without having to consider cutting down on food because of it.