Five believing organizations that minister to the poor in Israel
Vision for Israel distribution of vouchers in Jerusalem before the fall holidays 2017 (Photo: Facebook/VFI)
As Kehila News recently reported, Israel’s National Health Institute recently announced that some 1.8 million Israelis live in poverty.
Many believers are aware of this situation and are actively seeking to help alleviate these dire conditions. KNI has highlighted five believing ministries that help the poor and vulnerable in Israel. Importantly, these ministries also provide opportunities for believers from anywhere to join the work as volunteers, pray and donate financially.
VFI is an Israeli ministry founded by Messianic believers Barry and Batya Segal in 1994. Born of the Segal’s vision to “help build and restore the Land,” VFI provides humanitarian aid to poor and needy Israelis – both Jewish and Arab.
With its distribution center just outside Jerusalem as a base, VFI cares for the needs of Holocaust survivors, new immigrants, the elderly, children from domestic abuse situations, victims of terror attacks and their families, orphanages and foster homes. It also provides medical and emergency supplies, ambulances and medical motorcycles to the country.
“At Vision for Israel we believe in the natural and spiritual restoration of Israel,” Ariel Segal, VFI’s director of Marketing and IT, told KNI. “James 2:17 says, ‘So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.’”
To learn more about the ministry, see their website.
Founded by Jewish believer Brian Slater, ABS is based in Netanya in central Israel. Through its soup kitchen and clothing distribution center the ministry helps many while also giving food bags to some 400 Jewish people each month. ABS additionally provides medical, optical and dental assistance to the poor.
A special ABS project is the “Adopt a Holocaust Survivor” program through which believers all over the world can financially support, pray for and personally connect with Israeli survivors. This is a rather urgent project as the survivors are old and many have passed away. The ABS website explains that the main goal of this program is to: “fulfill the Hebrew scripture of Isaiah 40, that says: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God!”
The ABS ministry was recently awarded a Certificate of Good Standing for 2017 and 2018 by the Israeli Government. This is all the more encouraging as ABS is open about its commitment to Yeshua the Messiah.
Led by Andre Gaziarowski and based in Caesarea in Israel, the Helping Hand Coalition is a network of international humanitarian organizations that seek to address the needs of Israeli people.
HHC provides food, clothing and financial grants to the poor, as well as such things as eye glasses for the elderly.
Among its special projects, HHC has provided continuous humanitarian aid to nearly 80,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel. In addition to meeting their basic needs, HHC hosts social events to honor the survivors.
HHC has another specific focus: to help alleviate the suffering of Israeli victims of terror attacks and war. To this end also, as explained on its website, the coalition works to “harness the power of the internet and global news media in order to bring modern Israel to the world, and fight worldwide Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.”
HHC has a well-developed volunteer program. For information click here.
This well-known ministry is based in Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem and is headed by CEO Jim Schutz. Taking its name from the biblical Joseph who organized stores of food for times of famine, the ministry has provided $100 million in humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel – Jew and Arab, religious and secular – since 2000.
The Joseph Project is staffed by locals in the land but also partners with many nations such as Holland and Germany, Australia, the US and China, to bring in tons of aid and demonstrate God’s love to vulnerable people here.
“The Joseph Project imports aid into Israel from charities worldwide,” the website explains. “Clothing, blankets, medical supplies, furniture, linen and bedding, diapers and family items, tools, shoes, and other supplies are imported and stored in our modern 22 thousand square foot warehouse.”
“Our heart is to help people in real need in Israel, across all sectors of the population,” Schutz told KNI. “Our vision is to make a national impact on the poverty situation in Israel through developing a professional, efficient, responsive and authentic humanitarian aid organization in partnership with like-minded local and international organizations and individuals.”
The Joseph Project has received many testimonies of thanks for helping people from diverse backgrounds with different needs. Not least among these testimonials is one from ENOSH, the Israeli Mental Health Association.
“I would like to thank you for your generous support for our hostels, including blankets, pillows and bedding sets. Your support will help us further improve the quality of life of mentally ill patients by allowing them to experience an independent life and to gain new and important life skills within the supportive housing frameworks,” wrote Ariel Shraibman, spokesman for ENOSH.
Headed by Dudley and Raven Goff, this California-based ministry ships dried foods around the world to feed the hungry. Since 2010 the organization has also sent some 28 shipping containers of healthy dried soup mixes to Israel.
“It may surprise you to know that one third of Israeli children live below the poverty line,” a recent post on the IFO Facebook page explains. “The soup mix we distribute can go a long way to ensuring a nutritious meal at the end of the day!”
Among other IFO projects, a particularly personal touch the ministry provides is the distribution of colorful and warm handmade quilted blankets to needy Israeli Holocaust survivors. The beautiful quilts are lovingly made by groups of ladies who volunteer their time and talent for this purpose. Information about this is available on Facebook.
Notably, IFO especially encourages recovery groups such as Celebrate Recovery, AA/NA, Christian Motorcycle Ministries, and congregational youth ministries, to join in the work and learn the blessing of helping those in need.
As those who serve God with these ministries continue their work, perhaps many others from the nations and from Israel will join them.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Many other Messianic ministries serve the poor in Israel. Click here to visit the KNI Directory of Messianic ministries in Israel to find other such organizations.
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Karen Faulkner is a British Israeli citizen. She has a Master's degree in Human Rights & Transitional Justice from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.