Social welfare reports indicate that one third of children in Israel are growing up below the poverty line. Yad Ezra addresses the needs of impoverished families, regardless of religious affiliation, ethnicity, age, and location of residence. Today, nearly 100,000 individuals depend on Yad Ezra to help them break from the cycle of poverty.
Since its foundation in 1998, Yad Ezra has expanded into a nation-wide operation which includes weekly and holiday food distributions of thousands of baskets, children’s centers feeding over 500 children every day, and drop-in youth clubs helping over 8,000 teens-at-risk get back on track.
Understanding that poverty does not exist in a vacuum, over the years the organisation increased its services beyond providing food, with programs like empowering activities for teens at risk, academic enrichment for underprivileged children, and vocational training and guidance.
Yad Ezra’s approach to combating poverty is to intervene not only on a material level (with food, money, etc.), but most importantly, to provide the tools indigent families need to break out of the cycle of poverty in which they are trapped. Yad Ezra works on projects that encourage poor families to become self-supporting and help to restore their hope and dignity.
In addition, Yad Ezra offers the following services:
- Children Centers – open daily, provide hot, nutritious and vitamin-rich meals for children aged 3 to 14 from desperately poor families. The children receive help with their homework, play with educational toys, read books from the children’s library and are well-supervised.
- Food distribution – more than 3,000 baskets are distributed country-wide on a weekly basis to Israel’s neediest families.
- Employment Desk – providing needy individuals with the tools to help themselves escape the cycle of welfare and poverty. Clients receive counselling and with a trained social worker and get help composing their professional CV. They also receive tailor-developed work plans that suit the family needs and refer clients to training programs where appropriate. The program also works with potential employers and is able to facilitate the bringing together of employers and employees, providing resources for both.
- Emergency Needs – Yad Ezra provides aid and assistance in times of emergencies and security threats.
- Winter supplies – In harsh winters, with heavy snowfall, Yad Ezra bring blankets and heaters to families and the elderly who do not have the money to adequately heat their houses