With the High Holidays around the corner, Chabad Sderot is preparing on multiple fronts. The number of families they serve increases from more than 500 low income families to over 600. In years of conflict, it is even more difficult as many working families have lost part of their income and need supplemental assistance.
Sderot, a low-income city just 1 kilometer from the Gaza border, acts as a buffer between Gaza and the rest of Israel. As the closest city to Gaza it is crucial to the security of Israel on its southern border. The people of Sderot are a constant target, living in fear of rockets and mortars, running to shelters every time the sirens sound, at all hours of the day and night. The IDF and Israeli government work hard to protect them, but they can only do so much. Many residents of Sderot (40% of them children!) already suffer from anxiety and PTSD from past conflicts. Many victims of this constant terror are unable to return to work, affecting their livelihoods and local businesses. Businesses are having to close. Children are once again living in fear and terror.
Chabad of Sderot has been on the front lines for 25 years. Our programs support IDF soldiers, the elderly, children, and the needy. We provide services and supplies to IDF soldiers, daily hot meals, weekly food packages, medication, after school children’s programs, summer camps and trips and much much more. Now, we are asking for your support to ensure the best holiday experience for the people of Sderot. Your support will contribute to this aid and so much more than words can ever describe!
A Breakdown of Chabad’s High Holiday Costs
The holiday packages that Chabad provides for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur can feed a family of up to 10. The cost of these packages is higher than the food packages supplied throughout the rest of the year. Some items in the package include: grape juice, Challa, fish, honey, apples, cleaning supplies and diapers. The items have been purchased by Chabad or donated by generous donors. The total cost per person ends up being about $22. Right now, we have a total of 620 families and 1800 people signed up to receive these packages, making the total cost $39,600. This excludes the cost of supplies for Succot packages. The Succot package will include decorations and 50 actual succot which cost $160 per succa. Since succot lasts for 7 days, the cost per person is $40, making the total $72,000.
How You Will Help
These families would not have a chag sameach (happy holiday) without the help of Chabad Sderot. And Chabad cannot do it without YOU! We want the people of Sderot to be blessed with a new year of health and happiness. To taste the sweetness of apples dipped in honey and regain a sense of hope for the future. To reflect on their past and ask for forgiveness so that they may be sealed in the book of life, vitality and success. With the rise of violence and the constant threat they endure, they have experienced a lot of trauma in the past few months. The number of soldiers stationed on the southern border has also increased. Thus Chabad Sderot will host more than 500 chayalim during the High Holidays.
On top of the holiday packages and gatherings, we will be providing low income families with donated gift certificates in the amount of 1,000 shekels for new clothing. The total amount arranged is 50,000 shekel, approx $12,500. We would like to provide this same thing for an additional 50 families.
So this year when you sit with your family either at the Rosh Hashana table or under your beautiful succa, we can think about this holiday for what it is, Zman Zimchateynu, the time of our joy. Because we can rest easy knowing that we have helped our brothers and sisters in Sderot do the same.