Questions People Often Ask Us
There are many tzedaka organizations in Israel who are doing amazing work. However, most of them give in ways other than financial assistance. For an abandoned mother with a family of children, money is the primary need. Imahot B’Yisroel is dedicated in supporting poverty stricken mothers until they are able to stand on their own feet.
At Imahot B’Yisroel we ask every applicant for the contact number of a Rabbi or mentor and frequently call to authenticate the need.
Sara our executive secretary also contacts every woman to find out more about her needs and customize a financial aid package accordingly.
Most of these mothers work and some have as many as 3 jobs but still not earning enough to feed and clothe their families properly for the holidays. At Imahot B’Yisroel we supplement their earnings in order to rescue them from complete financial collapse in a most dignified way. We also offer loans for vocational training and business start-up in our efforts to stop the poverty cycle and charity dependence in Israel. In fact some of our former recipients have become our present donors.
We focus primarily on financial help as opposed to giving items in recognition that most abandoned mothers need the dignity to be able to buy their own food and clothing rather than having someone else do the selection and purchasing for them.
In the past few years we have helped pay for utility bills when the companies threatened to shut off, we paid for a 12 year old girl to receive emergency interventions for suicide prevention and have given substantial funds to help marry off children of abandoned mothers.
For the Jewish holidays we make sure that every needy mother with children can have a joyful chag with dignified aid packages to buy food and clothing for their families.
No, on the contrary, one mother returned our assistance after she married off her daughter and realized that she had paid all her expenses. She wanted the money going to other women in greater need than herself.
We also had several women who gave away some of their own food vouchers to other needy women they met while grocery shopping for the holidays being so grateful for the spending amount they received.
We are located in Bet Shemesh and that is where the organization was born. However we service any abandoned mother (or lone single women) throughout the entire country without discrimination.
Our charity gives opportunity for kindhearted Jews to give to a most needy population in Israel. Unfortunately there are very few organizations that understand the devastating socioeconomic effects faced by poor abandoned mothers and children and funding for this purpose is lacking severely.
By making sure that every Jewish mother and child lives with dignity and respect we are actually helping build a strong future for the Jewish nation in Israel.
Approx. 12 years ago I did volunteer supervision for Nitza Jerusalem Postpartum Support and realized how helping with a little extra money goes such a long way to add dignity to poverty challenged women. The Nitza organization would regularly send holiday stipends to their poor clients to relieve them of their financial crises and hasten their recovery.
At the same time, I was looking for some way to pay back to the community for all the chesed and bounty that Hashem kept on bestowing throughout my life and sent faxes and letters of poor brides and grooms in our community to some of the big philanthropists. We had a charity account in the USA and so it was win-win for those who wanted a tax deduction. Here again, I became aware of how long a little extra cash goes in determining the tranquility and joy with which poor parents (specifically mothers) can celebrate the weddings of their children.
The dignity and respect lost with poverty, family troubles and dealing with mental illness—can be restored with giving someone a little money (or vouchers) to for example buy healthy foods, vitamins or a nice dress for Yomtov.
Our focus is on mothers and children because single mothers who work so hard (some doing even 3 jobs) and are satisfied with so little have no-one to worry for them during the holidays, emergencies and when they celebrate family occasions. I used to spend days and weeks calling different charities, but almost none agreed to add another case to their over bulging lists.
The original donors were downsizing their donations as the economy declined – and most of Israeli charity is distributed via the huge tzedaka organizations—the poverty of the already suffering single mothers (including widows, agunot, divorcees, new immigrants, women with husbands who are mentally ill, elderly lone single spinsters etc.) was increasing. While there are many other organizations giving food and clothing—there was no organization giving in a way that makes possible personal decision about what type of food and clothing the single-mother family needs and much of the food and clothing distributed simply get thrown into the garbage.
Here in Israel women get paid much less than men for the same jobs. Plus, poor single mothers don’t have with whom to share the burden of income and raising the children. They are at a very disadvantaged position emotionally and looked down in society (unfortunately). There is no-one to give them a gift, a kind word, positive feedback etc.
And when there is poverty, the mother will not self-nurture due to lack of funds and putting their children first on the list of priorities. This makes the abandoned mother and her children a prime target for financial, emotional and physical collapse.
The wordage is meant to arouse awareness for this neglected population.
If a mother works, she cannot get government subsidies and if the woman is poor she cannot pay the lawyer’s fees to fight for her, so it’s a vicious cycle like a cat chasing its own tail.
Abandoned mothers and children are one of the most vulnerable and poor sectors of socioeconomic problems here in Israel.
Additionally the painful area of youth delinquency that is rampant in this population and understandably so must also be addressed.
Our financial aid packages don’t make anybody rich, they do prevent entire collapse and keep the families safe and productive.
Most of our recipients do have people who can testify to their need like a neighbor who calls in etc.
In questionable situations, we personally interview every mother and have the training to get the picture.
We are a safe environment for abandoned mothers to talk their hearts out to and are trained give the required support.
WE HELP WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT and want to give every mother the possibility of making their own choices.
By giving vouchers (that look like credit cards and are used by regular people as well) the mother can decide what is best for her family and take her kids shopping like every other mother.
Our goal is to close down soon due to prosperity and abundance for all Jewish families in Israel, but as long as there are poverty stricken and destitute Jewish women and children we must be there for them. It’s our Torah obligation. When the Torah mentions widows and orphans it’s only meant as a general rule to look out for everyone who is weaker and more vulnerable than us financially. (Jewish sages)