The number of poor in Israel dropped last year to its lowest levels since 2003, but one-third of Israeli children are living below the poverty line, according to a new report.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled sweeping housing reforms in Israel.
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Meet Gabriel Halimi, Kim Krowne, Manijeh Youabian, Andrew Wolfberg, Susan Corwin, Ari Moss, Richard Braun, Bracha Yael, Jack Matloff and Neil Sheff
As the price of food staples have risen, Israel's poor and the nonprofit groups that serve them have been hardest hit, with some impoverished Israelis skipping meals to pay their monthly bills
Iranian American Jews -- reaching out to poor and homeless in the city
Has anyone else noticed that the only difference between your local Starbucks and your local homeless shelter is the shelter has a faster turnover?
A recent report by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles found that nearly one in five local Jews, or 104,000 out of 520,000, earns less than $25,000 a year, with 7 percent living beneath the poverty line. Los Angeles' high cost of living makes it especially difficult on poor Jews, who often go without health insurance and are reluctant to ask for assistance.
Like their clients, several local Jewish agencies that serve the poor are struggling mightily.
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and other Jewish nonprofits have recently lost millions in government funding at a time when demand for their services has skyrocketed. That has strained their ability to care for the indigent and threatens the health of existing programs.
Early morning on the day before Yom Kippur, groups of Jews will be gathering to hold squawking chickens by the feet and twirl them over their head while chanting a prayer. After the twirling, the chickens will be ritually slaughtered and given to the poor.
Kaparos, literally atonements, which has been performed in Los Angeles at the Santa Monica Chabad House and at Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad, is one of the strangest-looking customs in Jewish liturgy. It is done to inspire repentance and to impress upon its adherents the seriousness of Yom Kippur. However, the practice has inspired the ire of animal rights groups, who consider it cruel to the chickens, and many are urging that Jews who practice this custom do so using money instead, which is an acceptable substitute.
When, not so long ago, the director of an Israeli nonprofit organization noticed that an employee would appear at work every Sunday morning so fatigued that he could barely function, he issued him a stern warning to "stop partying so hard on Saturday nights."
The gaunt-looking employee burst into tears, explaining that he had not eaten since Thursday afternoon, when he received his last hot meal of the week at work.
Tourist Cuba is a bit like a time-machine ride through a Cold War theme park. Vintage Detroit autos rumble past charming Havana hotels refurbished to their pre-revolutionary glory. Posters for featured movies at a film festival keep company with ones that blare slogans like, "La Revolucion Siempre," or the revolution always.
Yet, when Roe Gruber and her daughter took a Havana apartment for a month last summer, the Tustin residents were able to escape the tourist cocoon. They learned new skills, like coping with Third World shortages by offering bribes for tomatoes and theater tickets.
In the grim underground parking lot of the Rishon LeZion shopping mall in central Israel, hundreds of men and women of all ages are nervously sitting, standing restlessly or milling around, their faces weary, their eyes expectant.
Several years ago, economist and sociologist Paul Samuelson proposed dividing the world into four categories: the rich countries, the poor countries, Japan and Argentina. Everyone knows the state of rich countries and poor countries. However, no one understands why Japan is doing so well and Argentina so badly.
The first time I saw a beggar on the streets of Los Angeles I was shocked. The man, disheveled and filthy, stood on the freeway offramp with a tattered sign: "Will Work for Food." Sure, there are beggars in Calcutta and panhandlers in New York, but not here! I stared at him for a long time until my children began to question: "Why is that man standing there? Why is he so dirty? Why does he look so sad?" That was some years ago. Now, we don't notice. Now, we cruise down the offramp and don't see. The beggars and bag ladies have become part of our urban landscape: There's the tree, the traffic light, the indigent. Perhaps even more disturbing is that the kids don't notice any more. They've grown accustomed to the presence of poverty and degradation in their midst. It no longer shakes them up. And should they notice, they feel no connection, no compassion, no obligation. The poor are another species, citizens of another dimension. They have no claim on us. They are invisible.
Nine months after Ehud Barak took office as "everybody's prime minister," the honeymoon is over -- with his voters, coalition allies and Arab partners in the quest for peace. It is too early to write him off, but the Labor leader can no longer rely on loyalty or goodwill to see him through.
For most of this century, Los Angeles has been a city of two elites -- one predominately WASPish, the other predominately Jewish. Although they occasionally collaborated on projects such as the MusicCenter, the two worlds remained largely separate and indifferent to each other, living in a ruling-class version of institutional apartheid.