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May 5, 2016 / 27 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Number of Holocaust Survivors Declines to 189,000

Monday, April 13th, 2015

There are 189,000 survivors of the Holocaust still living, but an average of 40 die every day, the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel reported Monday in its annual report.

Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed on Wednesday night and Thursday.

The Foundation also said that 45,000 survivors live in poverty, as defined by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi).

One-third of the survivors live alone, and two-thirds of them are women. The average age of survivors now is 83.3.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Government Issues Annual Misleading Report on Poverty

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The National Insurance Institute (NII) (Bituach Leumi) has released its annual report on poverty that once is based on a statistical method that guarantees that the “poor will always be with us.”

By partly basing the “poverty line” on the average family income, the poor would always remain that way even if the government were to give every family in the country an addition sum of money, an action that would raise both the average income and the poverty line.

For the record, the NII stated that less young people but more of the elderly are living below the poverty line.

It concluded that 1.7 million people, more than 20 percent of the population, are poor. Its explanation for the rise in the number of the elderly poor illustrates another statistical fallacy. It explained that the number rose because their pensions are not included in the income of the elderly.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Glatt Kosher Company Donates $10,000 in Hotdogs to Soup Kitchen

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Abeles & Heymann, LLC. The premier manufacture of Glatt Kosher Hotdogs has begun its donation campaign in conjunction with Masbia. Over the next four weeks, Abeles & Heymann will donate $10,000.00 worth of hotdogs to Masbia Soup Kitchen.

Masbia soup kitchen network serves hot dinners five nights a week out of three locations in New York City in addition to distributing once a week take-home grocery packages. Last year Masbia served close to 500,000 meals to hungry men, women and children. Masbia opened its doors in 2005, with the prime objective of offering nourishing nutritious meals with dignity to those in need.

“It is not every day that we are able to offer donated Kosher meat in our take-home grocery packages,” said Alexander Rapaport, Executive Director of Masbia. “Donations of Kosher meat are hard to come by and we are very grateful to Abeles & Heymann for being able to offer meat to our clients over the next few weeks.”

Seth Leavitt, co-owner of Abeles & Heymann, said, “We are proud that, as we enter our 60th year of business, we are able to make a donation to such a worthy cause.”

Founded in 1954 in the Bronx, NY, by Oscar Abeles and his Nephew Leopold Heymann, Abeles & Heymann has been dedicated to producing the most delectable, premium quality gourmet kosher hot dogs and provisions for almost 60 years.

The founding family’s high standards for quality and authenticity, and its mission, to provide the finest kosher deli products, continue to this day.

Abeles & Heymann’s award winning products are available coast to coast, and sold at Costco, Fairway, Shoprite, Stop & Shop, Pathmark and most kosher supermarkets throughout the U.S.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Netanyahu, Lapid, Punish Families with Children and Bennett is Silent

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Only the wealthy won’t feel Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid’s latest budget cut, which reduces “child allowances” to a pitiful joke.

Where just a few years ago families received as much as NIS 400 per child, the payments for children will fall to NIS 140 (less than $40) per child per month… Arutz 7

Contrary to Lapid’s rantings, it’s not the lazy unemployed sector that will feel it the most.  Those families with almost no income get various welfare subsidies; it’s the working poor, who even with the previous child allowances barely finished the month.

I have no idea how Lapid has come up with his so-called facts:

“We will help needy families and set aside hundreds of millions [of shekels] to make sure no children go hungry, but [the cuts] are a historic move from a culture of allotments to a culture of work.”

Beginning on August 20, parents will receive only 140 shekels per month for each child born after June 1, 2003.

According to Lapid, National Insurance Institute (NII) child allotments perpetuated poverty instead of stopping it. “There is only one thing that allows families to get out of the cycle of poverty – work. The poverty rate in families with two working parents is under 5 percent.” Indy News of Israel

Apparently, Yair Lapid is just as anti-religious and anti-chareidi as his father was.  He just packages himself differently.

For Haredi families, this severe cut in income comes coupled with a severe curtailing of funding for yeshivas and kolelim—by 30 percent this coming year, and by 60 percent the following year. Jewish Press

Lapid’s timing is extra cruel considering the season.  Summer is extremely, unbearably expensive for families with children, no matter what their income.  Children on vacation from school need to be minded, cared for which is expensive.  Summer camp, vacations, babysitters, bathing suits, crafts etc. are difficult for many parents to pay for.  You see many parents taking their children to work, because there’s no alternative especially when they are working at low wages.  Sometimes it costs more to go to work than to stay home.  By reducing child allowances it can become completely financially impossible for both parents to work.

Even before these new child allowance cuts, parents were finding it difficult to pay for school supplies, books and the expenses for the upcoming Jewish Holidays.

Israel doesn’t have much of a parliamentary opposition, but I hope this latest government move galvanizes them to action.

“It injures where it’s supposed to heal. Once again, [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid is taking advantage of and encouraging a mistaken and inciting idea that haredim and Arabs are the only ones who are harmed by budget cuts. First of all, a child is a child is a child.”

According to Yacimovich, the average family will lose NIS 2,000 per year because of the allotment cuts.

The Labor issue took with a statistic Lapid cited – that only five percent of families where both parents work are poor – and said that 65 percent of poor families are working families. She added that there are 870,000 poor children in Israel, more than any other Western country.

“This is an economic and national mistake, evil for its own sake, and a total detachment from people’s regular lives,” Yacimovich wrote.  Jerusalem Post

But my big question concerns to silence from Lapid’s buddy, Naftali Bennett. A large portion of Bennett’s NRP-aka Bayit Yehudi voters will be losing thousands of shekels a year in this government decision.  Ignored by Lapid, Netanyahu and Bennett, who is also in the government coalition, is the fact that many, many families that will be losing thousands of shekels a year are from the dati Le’umi, national religious portion of the population.  They voted on the whole for NRP and Likud.  There’s a good chance they won’t be able to afford to make that mistake again.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Batya Medad

Lapid Tells Haredim ‘Go Work’ as Child Subsidy Cuts Go into Effect

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

On Tuesday, the severe cuts in government assistance to large families is going into effect, representing a new peak in Finance Minister Yauir Lapid’s war against the Haredim. What began as an election slogan, touting the need for an equal share in the national burden, is now policy, and as so many things political go, this one is hurting the weakest members of society.

Here’s the list of changes in the amounts paid to families—it is divided into children before and after 2003.

Families with children born before 2003 will receive $39 a month—down from $49—for the first child; $39 a month—down from $74—for the second child; $48 a month—down from $82—for the third child; $94 a month—down from $129—for the fourth child; and $99 a month—down from $109—for the fifth child and on.

The effect on a family of 10, which would be almost certainly religious (or Arab) is a 20% drop, from $988.00 to $814.00.

Israel’s social security administration objected to these cuts, arguing that they expect them to send some 35 thousand new children below the poverty line. In fact, they said the new cuts, sold as part of the “equal burden” package, will actually introduce a huge, new gap between rich and poor, as the percentage of poor children will rise from 4 to 40 percent.

In his Facebook message (today’s politician’s alternative to press conferences, where they might ask you embarrassing questions), Lapid said he was fulfilling one of his key promises to his voters. He also offered the following factoid, possibly something he read in a Maggie Thatcher interview:

“For years upon years it’s been proven that child allowances don’t get people out of poverty, they only make poverty permanent. Only one thing allows families exit the cycle of poverty – and that’s working.”

According to a 2011 report on poverty issued by the Israeli social security administration, 39.3% of Israeli families have been freed from the cycle of poverty due to receiving a variety of subsidies, including child allowances and income tax breaks, and the figure includes 15.1% of the children in Israel. The poverty line before government subsidies are paid out stands at $39.3%, and with the old subsidies dropped to 19.9%, which is still the highest poverty level among developed countries, and highest among all the OECD member countries…

For Haredi families, this severe cut in income comes coupled with a severe curtailing of funding for yeshivas and kolelim—by 30 percent this coming year, and by 60 percent the following year.

Four Haredi families are planning to sue the government in the Supreme Court over the cuts, which they say were made haphazardly and in a manner that does not befit proper legislation. A similar appeal was rejected a month ago by Justice Noam Solberg, on the ground that it was issued too early on in the legislative process. He urged the plaintiffs to come back once the bill becomes a law. Well, today it did.

Minister Lapid received a lot of praise when, during a duel with MKs from the Torah Judaism party, he said from the podium, in response to an accusation that his office was starving children:

“We will not allow any child in the State of Israel to go hungry. It’s our duty to make sure no child in Israel will be hungry, and we will honor it. But I want to remind [you], the institution responsible for caring for children is called their parents. When you bring a child into this world, [you] are the primary person responsible for it. Bringing a child into the world is a heavy responsibility, and so you should bring children into the world not based on the assumption that other people would care for them, but rather based on the assumption that it’s your obligation to take care of your own children.”

But that was many months ago. Today it has become clear that Minister Lapid—continuing his late father’s legacy of Haredi and religious hatred—has declared war on religious Jews in Israel. So far it’s been a three-pronged attack, hitting the issues of draft, child rearing in large families, and the education budget. Granted, in every one of these areas the Haredi public could do a lot to improve its relationship with the state and to create more goodwill between religious and secular in Israel. But to hit them with these three massive jabs all at once is not an act of repair but of destruction.


Yori Yanover

Met Council Taps NY Finance Chief Frankel to Replace Rapfogel

Monday, August 19th, 2013

The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty is bringing in New York City’s finance chief, David Frankel, to succeed the fired William Rapfogel as executive director and CEO.

The Met Council announced the appointment of Frankel, who has been the commissioner of the Department of Finance since 2009, on Monday. His department collects more than $30 billion in revenue for the city.

Frankel will officially join the Met Council on Sept. 30. It is one of New York’s largest human services agencies, providing services to 100,000 New Yorkers annually.

Rapfogel, who headed the organization since 1992, was dismissed earlier this month after an internal investigation discovered financial malfeasance related to the company’s insurance policies. He is under investigation by the New York State attorney general and comptroller.

JTA

Head of Met Council Steps Down, Apologizes for Mistakes

Monday, August 12th, 2013

William E. Rapfogel, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) since 1992, has been fired from his job and is under investigation for alleged financial wrongdoing, the NY Times reported.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, and comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, are now investigating Mr. Rapfogel as part of a new anti-corruption task force.

In a statement released by his lawyer, Rapfogel apologized for unspecified mistakes.

“After 21 years at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that have led to my departure from the organization,” he said. “I apologize to our dedicated officers and board, our incredible staff and those who depend on Met Council. I let them all down.”

Rapfogel also said: “I pray that my family and friends and all who care about Met Council can find it in their heart to forgive me for my actions. I will do everything possible to make amends.”

Met Council released the following statement:

“The Board of Directors of Met Council recently became aware of specific information regarding financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization’s insurance policies. The Board retained outside counsel to conduct a full investigation. Based on that investigation, which is ongoing, the Board has terminated Mr. Rapfogel, effective immediately, and notified the proper authority. To date, the investigation has not revealed evidence that any current employees of Met Council engaged in any wrongdoing.

“The Board takes these matters very seriously. For over forty years, Met Council has been a respected leader as one of New York City’s largest human services agencies, providing assistance to over 100,000 New Yorkers each year in their fight against poverty. The Board is committed to ensuring Met Council’s operations are conducted with integrity and that they uphold our highest values.

“The Board has embarked upon a search to identify a new CEO and will work diligently to appoint a replacement as quickly as possible. In the meantime, there should be no disruption to Met Council’s day-to-day operations. The Board has the utmost confidence in the talent and dedication of the current executive staff, which will continue to manage the organization’s various programs that provide food, shelter and care to thousands of New Yorkers in need.”

In 2011, the Met Council paid Mr. Rapfogel $340,089 in direct compensation, plus $77,202 in “other compensation,” according to a tax document filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the Times reported.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/head-of-met-council-steps-down-apologizes-for-mistakes/2013/08/12/

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