In Israel 1.600.000 people are living under the poverty line. About 24% of Israelis are forced to make a choice between food and other expenses such as rent, medicine, hot-water, electricity, heating, etc. As a result over 400.000 families suffer from nutritional insecurity, hunger, and among them are more than 700.000 children. Many pensioners cannot make ends meet and are left to their own devices. There are also immigrants experiencing economic hardship and their situation is often exacerbated by difficulty acquiring the language. Hineni Jerusalem is an encouragement to them until they feel fully integrated into their homeland.
Jerusalem is Israel’s poorest city where a majority of the poor depend on meals from soup kitchens. Therefore we serve at Hineni’s soup kitchen about 200 meals a day and offer food packages and /or vouchers on a regular basis. We prefer to distribute supermarket vouchers in order to preserve a person’s dignity and normalize their lives. This also allows them to buy according to their personal needs.
The distribution of these meals and food packages are not our only objective however. We also use these meals as a way to interact with the needy and offer them counseling, sanitary facilities, education, referrals for health problems, various therapies and self-help support groups. We achieve this in cooperation with social workers from the Jerusalem Municipality and other public services.
Hineni offers use of our facilities free of charge for life cycle events such as Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, circumcisions, and especially during the Jewish holiday’s we provide extra aid and programs to help strengthen our people.
“We are our brothers’ keepers. We may not be able to remove their suffering, but we can help them shoulder their burden by being there for them.