As the challenges to Israel’s home front resulting from the war continue to expand, and more and more families are fleeing their homes in areas being heavily targeted by rocket fire, Colel Chabad is intensifying its efforts to assist as many people as possible.
While the government has earmarked funds to address food and basic supply needs for those who were mandated to evacuate because of the proximity of their homes to the border, thousands of other families beyond that zone, but still suffering from incessant rocket fire, are facing desperate practical and economic challenges.
In direct response to that need, Eshel Chabad, the food distribution division of Colel Chabad, Israel’s longest continuously-running social services organization founded by the Alter Rebbe in 1788, has launched an emergency response campaign for those who have relocated to Jerusalem. The project is being supported by the Har Chotzvim Association, the Jerusalem Foundation, and the Jewish Federations of America.
Families and individuals who have relocated to the capital, with eligibility based upon their location of residence on or before October 7, are being provided with freshly-cooked meals, prepared under strict kashrut standards, at the heavily discounted price of 4 NIS ($1) per meal. Discounted debit cards for 1000 NIS to be used for grocery items at many of Israel’s leading supermarket chains are also available for purchase for 500 NIS, as well as microwaves to be able to warm the prepared meals.
“In all the history of modern Israel, we have likely never seen a moment where the country is struggling with so many different needs at the same time, particularly as it relates to the home front,” said Rabbi Shalom Duchman, Director of Colel Chabad. “Our responsibility is to think out of the box to do whatever is necessary to make sure that every family and individual is being cared for and getting the practical, emotional and financial support they so need.”
Eshel Chabad is the official implementing agency for Israel’s National Food Security Initiative, and operates a national network of food and support distribution that is being relied upon in face of the expanding needs around the country.
“We know we need to be prepared for a crisis that will likely last weeks if not months, with thousands of families being uprooted from their homes,” Rabbi Duchman said. “Our every hope and prayer is that we will be able to give these people, many of whom have never before needed to rely on the generosity of others, the support they need while protecting their dignity. May they be able to return to their homes and lives of personal safety very soon.”