Photo Credit: Courtesy: Colel Chabad
Colel Chabad building

Israel’s Interior Ministry has approved a massive support project designed to help families in need as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) takes its toll on Israeli society and its economy.

The government has allocated NIS 700 million to support needy families.


The money is expected to be divided into three phases, with an adult receiving NIS 300 per phase and a child NIS 225. A family can receive up to NIS 2,400 per phase. The final amount will range from NIS 900 per person to NIS 7,200 for a family with 8 children.

A total of 200,000 needy families will be assisted through the effort.

The implementation of the project, involving a large-scale logistical effort, will be managed in large part by Colel Chabad’s Eshel Yerushalayim Project, which was founded in 1788 and is the longest continuously operating charitable organization in Israel today.

The organization will be responsible for the logistical and distribution effort in Israel’s southern and central regions, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria while the remainder of the country will be managed by Pitchon Lev.

Colel Chabad has earned public recognition for its logistical, transparent and efficient implementation of the National Food Security Initiative which distributes ‘debit cards’ to purchase food, food boxes, and other support for those living under the poverty line.

This latest project, which will see over NIS 700 million worth of support cards distributed in the coming months, will take that effort to a whole new level.

“The generations of experience Colel Chabad has in all types of food distribution, whether it is in the more modern form of cards or traditional form of boxes, meals or from our soup kitchens, will allow even more people, from all backgrounds, to get the support they need at the time they need it the most,” said Rabbi Sholom Duchman, Director of Colel Chabad.

“As I was taught by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we must help every person, no matter the background, in the way they need it most,” he added.

Rabbi Mendy Blau, Israel Director of Colel Chabad said that “this historic undertaking comes at a truly critical time for our nation where thousands of new families have been thrust into poverty.”

“We view it with both pride and a great sense of responsibility that the government has entrusted us with this historic mission and we firmly believe that our experience and network will be instrumental in making this a process that will bring much-needed assistance as quickly and effectively as possible,” he stated.

Israel’s Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri said he is “deeply proud and appreciative to be leading this ambitious and important effort that will help so many families that have been forced to contend with the many challenges that have resulted from the Corona crisis.”

“This period has presented an ongoing financial nightmare that has made daily life a literal fight for survival for so many. The reality is that many families are suffering from hunger and need immediate support,” he explained.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.