Poverty Among Families
Recent economic success in many sectors of Israel society hide the ugly fact that poverty still haunts much of the nation. Recent studies have shown that 420,000 impoverished families resided in Israel (1.5 million people), including some 805,000 children. Perhaps even more alarming, 1 million Israelis go hungry on a regular basis.
A Jewish Issue
Concern for poor families is a central value of the Jewish people. In the Torah (Deuteronomy 15:7-8, ) we find: “If one of your brothers becomes poor, within your land and your gates in the land God has given you, do not harden your heart or close your hand to your poor brother. Rather, open wide your hand and give him according to what he lacks.” Maimonides wrote that the highest form of tzedaka is not giving alms but helping people lift themselves out of poverty.
The Hope: Paamonim
A Unique Approach To Families in Poverty
Paamonim is a volunteer organization whose objective is to help families in economic crisis to take responsibility for their economic lives. It sets as its goal to provide solutions to families in economic distress, getting them off the lists of charity recipients, by empowering them the tools to conduct their economic lives with responsibility, independence and dignity. Families are set on a firm economic footing and shown how to balance their budgets and correctly manage their economic affairs so that they will no longer need help.
Paamonim offers free assistance to anyone across the country who requests help. A Paamonim trained financial volunteer is assigned to a family to develop and implement an economic recovery plan. Together they assess the family’s financial situation and balance expenses and income, including increasing income where possible. Upon maintaining this balance for a number of months, the family may move on to resolve past debts with the volunteer financial guide’s help.
If this work speaks to you, you can get involved. If you’re in Israel, you can join Paamonim a family as a trained financial guide, working 1-1 to help families create a plan towards financial stability. Within Israel, people can get involved by volunteering as economic coaches or as professional advisors in Paamonim. In addition, supporters from within Israel and from abroad can get involved by contributing to Paamonim financially. For more information, visit the Paamonim website.