The numbers tell a consistent storyline: Nearly one in four Israelis lives in poverty.
One-third of Israelis are at risk of poverty, a new Israeli government report shows.
Jewish groups joined prayer rallies and demonstrations in Washington and across the country to urge Congress to preserve federal programs for the poor.
A new report warns of a sharp rise in child poverty in Britain's haredi Orthodox Jewish community. The report says the rise in child poverty is due to the haredi community's large families, lack of secular education and work skills, and cuts in both charitable giving and state social benefits.
I tried to visit the orphanage every day, and I formed incredible relationships with almost all of the kids living there. I loved the kids so much; they were always so happy and hopeful, even though they have close to nothing, not even running water or clothes and shoes that fit.
The food pantry would not open for another 40 minutes, but already about a dozen people were waiting in the parking lot, many holding umbrellas to shield themselves from the blistering San Fernando Valley sun
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
Rescuing excess food from Israeli corporate cafeterias on a daily basis is just one of the projects Joseph Gitler conceived about five and a half years ago when, as a new immigrant to Israel, he decided he must do something about the disturbing reports of poverty in Israel.
Every so often, I read a book that is extraordinary, a book that is so good, so well written, so moving, so memorable that you just want to holler out: Read this! Such a book is "The Invisible Wall" by Harry Bernstein.
There are some 50 Jews left in Kosovo. Belonging to three families, or clans, they all live in the city of Prizren, a rare gem of ancient architecture amid a landscape devastated by war, poverty and communist-era concrete.
When Baruch Meir Yaacov Shochet called Asher Klitnick into his office on that day in 2004 to discuss the growing crisis of poor Charedi families, the rebbe had more on his mind than just fundraising. This time, he was also thinking about jobs. He asked Klitnick and his team to prepare Charedis to join the working world.
There are an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 Holocaust survivors living in Los Angeles, according to Federation spokeswoman Deborah Dragon. Of these, 3,000 are determined to be financially needy, a figure based on a United Jewish Communities Report published December 2003, which found 25 percent of Holocaust victims in the United States living in poverty.
One of the Jewish calendar's most widespread and public observances, the Chanukah holiday has traditionally emphasized two miracles: the military victory of Jewish rebels over Greek invaders and the one vial of oil that lasted for eight nights. However, just as other holidays have seen their historic purpose shaped to contemporary narratives, Chanukah is increasingly being used as a vehicle for other Jewish agendas that seem to stray far from the holiday's original meaning.
Galina's renewed sense of hope for her future -- for the chance to relax and to read and memorize her beloved poems about Victory Day -- comes as a result of the work of comedy director/producer Zane Buzby and the Survivor Mitzvah Project, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that brings direct financial assistance to about 700 elderly and ill Holocaust survivors in Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Lithuania.
After Ryan Silver returned home from a trip to Africa with his family, he began preparing for his bar mitzvah. Without hesitation, he knew that his mitzvah project would involve helping the children in the orphanage he visited in a Nairobi slum. Between the guests' donations and his own, Silver raised more than $2,700. In addition to completing a Jewish rite of passage, Silver was pleased that his celebration helped educate others about the plight of the children in Africa and to ultimately offer financial support.
Brian had just finished lunch when he popped the question: "Do we get dinner too?" He was almost holding his breath. I smiled, nodded and watched his eyes widen in elated disbelief. Lunch and dinner! I felt both shocked and sheltered by his question. I had never met anyone who couldn't afford food before.
Vast slums perch precariously in the hills overlooking Rio de Janeiro, each made up of thousands of sukkot -- flimsy shacks in which people live
We have reached the threshold of another new year. Let us pledge, you and I, to cross it together, committed to a future in which food stamps, the majority of which go to feed children, require neither a diet nor a challenge. Hungry people deserve better. We all do.
In "Manda Bala" ("Send a Bullet"), Jason Kohn portrays a dystopian nation where the rich steal from the poor and the poor literally "steal" the rich. The movie won best documentary and documentary cinematography awards at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and "is as well directed as a thriller," according to a review in The Hollywood Reporter.
Isn't that a pretty good indication that the Bible favors using the power of the government to coerce the citizenry to be charitable over relying on private generosity? Actually, not at all.
Sitting in a nondescript hotel conference room, Abu Siam and five others described challenges faced as Israeli women. Among them, no one seemed both more foreign and yet more immediate than Abu Siam, who appeared dressed in colorful Muslim garb sparkling with jewelry, covered from head to toe so that only her beautiful and expressive face was visible. She appeared alternately angry and sad, fierce and broken, and as we heard her story -- translated from Hebrew by our group leader -- the reasons for her emotions became both understandable and unfathomable.
A nomadic people, "Bedouin" is the general name for Arabic-speaking tribes in the Middle East and North Africa that originate from the Arabian Peninsula, the Jazirat al-Arab. Before 1948, Bedouin were for generations the only residents of the Negev, a land mass that makes up some 60 percent of present-day Israel but comprises less than 10 percent of the total population.
Bedouin women are increasingly attending college. Here at Ben-Gurion University, there are 250 female Bedouin students.
Having participated in the Milken Conference in April and traveled to Plaquemines two weeks later, I was struck by the chasm between the viewpoints expressed in these two locales, a divide that I believe underscores one of the most significant challenges to full and meaningful recovery for the Gulf region.
But for thousands of people like Flor, slavery is not a thing of the past. Slavery is, in fact, very much alive in the world today. Twenty-seven million people are working as indentured slaves in the world today, according to Kevin Bales, author of "Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy" (University of California Press, 2000), the first worldwide study of human slavery. Bales is also president of the organization Free the Slaves, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to ending slavery around the world.
Once idealized as a socialist paradise, Israel is increasingly becoming a country of two classes -- those who have soared in the increasingly capitalist economy and those who have stumbled in its wake.
Anti-poverty activists and residents say the situation of many towns like Shechunat Hatikvah is the result of decades of government neglect and poor planning -- places seen as dumping grounds where immigrants were settled in demographically strategic locations but far from job opportunities.
Israel poverty videos test.
Could it be that Israelis just need to kvetch about whoever's in the headlines?
There is no demographic study of the Iranian Jewish community in Los Angeles, although its size is generally given as 30,000, including the American-born children of the original immigrants.
Letters to the Editor
Social Justice seems to be the central theme that pervades just about any Jewish periodical. Open any issue of The Jewish Journal, for instance, and you will see all sorts of articles and editorials related to tikkun olam, acts of charity and kindness that help to repair or perfect the world.
Moscovitz is one of the tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors living in abject poverty in the United States. These witnesses to the 20th century's worst atrocity are enduring a second nightmare, often struggling just to feed and clothe themselves.Their wartime experiences, which included malnutrition and physical and psychological abuse, have made them prone to costly medical and mental problems as they age.
Asking the 100,000 uninsured residents of South Los Angeles to take an hourlong bus ride for medical services they may not receive is hardly a solution to the current health-care
The film "City of God" shed light on a long-neglected subject, the Third World conditions and inescapable warfare existing in Rio de Janeiro's slums. Now comes "Favela Rising," a documentary that not only limns the tragedy of the favelas, the Brazilian ghettoes, but also tells the inspirational tale of Anderson Sá, a black Messiah figure who founds a reggae music club that offers a nonviolent alternative to their rampant drug and gang activity.
If you meet Grace Quinn sunning herself on the patio of her home at Westwood Horizons Retirement Residence or pushing her bright red walker in Trader Joe's, you wouldn't guess that this nonagenarian is one of the founders of Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center.
I'll admit to a bit of initial wariness about a bus tour through Inglewood, Lennox and Hawthorne, sponsored a couple of Sundays ago by the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA). The three communities just east of LAX have poverty and crime rates far exceeding the averages in L.A. County. But the 90 people who boarded the two buses at the Westside Jewish Community Center were not interested in casual sightseeing.
"He's the James Brown of the Jewish community, the hardest-working man in L.A. Jewry," Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss said. "I see him everywhere."
Although in some ways, Fishel is everywhere but nowhere. A bearded, slender man with a direct gaze, the shy Fishel seems to prefer keeping his own counsel. He sometimes materializes at events in his well-tailored suits and then slips away after talking to but a handful of folks.
The idea that Jews in Argentina are passing through on their way from Russia (or other place of origin) to Israel -- a voyage that might last several generations -- was hardwired into the Jewish educational system. Many have made aliyah out of necessity, especially during the Dirty War and subsequent economic downturns.
Indalo -- Ethiopians are known by their first names -- is one of the lucky ones among thousands of Ethiopians seeking to immigrate to Israel from one of Africa's poorest countries.
They've come here and to slums in the city of Gondar from their rural villages, abandoning their farms and occupations as blacksmiths, potters and weavers to live near the aid compounds and, more importantly, to be close to the Israeli officials in whose hands their fate rests.
Perhaps no single party outside the Israeli government is as vital to Ethiopian aliyah as the American Jews committed to help paying for it. So this month, when the United Jewish Communities (UJC) brought a group of 100 people from America's wealthiest Jewish communities, including Los Angeles, to the straw-and-mud huts of one of the poorest countries on earth, it was a signal to the Israeli government that American Jewry is serious about its own role in bringing Ethiopians to Israel.
Jewish groups, led by the United Jewish Communities (UJC), were particularly concerned about changes in Medicaid rules intended to slow the growth in the entitlement program.
The two young, sari-clad women, one in blue and one in orange, stand in the thatched-roof meeting hall, take hold of the microphone and join their voices.
"We don't need any fancy materials," they croon by heart. "What we need is just some food to live. We don't ask for a refrigerator, a TV or a car. We just need some small capital to start a business."
The audience of women in the village of Alamarai Kuppam applaud with enthusiasm. The few men, seated or hovering around the edges, are more circumspect, but they, too, nod approvingly.
Call it women's lib, post-tsunami-India style.
The outpouring of financial support that followed the 2004 tsunami has accelerated efforts to improve the lives of rural women -- an initiative that goes well beyond helping families recover from the tsunami.
Set in front of the hotel on the Avenue of the Stars, which was blocked off, this banquet-in-the-street supported some 4,000 striking workers at seven Los Angeles hotels.
The president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles recently visited refugee camps in the African country of Chad to bear witness to the pain and suffering of more than 250,000 victims of genocide from neighboring Sudan.
The moral -- these many years later -- is not immediately obvious. Yes, it's about what one person can do, but it is about much more than that. It's about leadership and about community organization
The gut-wrenching scenes of human suffering witnessed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are not only the result of the levee failures at Lake Pontchartrain, but also the failure of a nation numbed to the growing division between "haves" and "have-nots."
What is appearing on television sets across America is the inevitable impact of decades of ignoring a stark difference in economic realities. While wealthy, predominantly white Gulf residents -- and most Jews -- were able to leave the region or escape to higher ground, it was poorer, largely black, elderly and sick Americans who were left behind to fend for themselves.
In the case of New Orleans, high poverty rates already existed before the storm: More than 30 percent of the population lived below the federal poverty line. These are, in most cases, the victims whose bodies we saw floating in the Mississippi River and dying for lack of basic necessities at the New Orleans Convention Center and Superdome.
The 2008 election may be more than three years away, but one group is hoping to press the Democratic Party to infuse spirituality into its platform for that campaign.
Letters to the Editor on various subjects.
This weekend, as we join all Americans in proudly celebrating our independence, we also should be thinking of the 1 billion people in the world who live on $1 a day or less, most of whom lack clean water, electricity, food, education and medical care. It is our hope that in this spirit, President Bush fully contemplates an opportunity he has to help free millions from the chains of poverty when he meets with world leaders in Scotland.
Known as the G8 Summit, eight of the world's wealthiest nations will be meeting July 6 to discuss, among other global issues, the Millennium Goals agreed to by all 189 member states of the United Nations to reduce global poverty.
Keep passing. Keep passing." It's 6 a.m. on a Monday morning in March, and students from Milken Community High School, wearing hairnets, plastic aprons and gloves, are dishing out hot cereal, sugar, applesauce, milk and a muffin assembly-line style onto blue trays.
I thought about the implications: I take this tie, and my hands are tied. I'd forever have to remember that one night a Palestinian gave me an expensive tie, and that he was nice to me. I'd have to question all my stereotypes and generalizations, and recognize that there are good, normal, generous Palestinians who just want peace, who just want to be my friend, who just want some fun.