Vote for YEDID!

 

You’ve got a friend in YEDID

It might be a broken voice on the telephone. It may be a face to face meeting, with a lonely Holocaust survivor who needs help submitting a financial claim. Or an Ethiopian immigrant struggling to find work above minimum wage. Perhaps it’s a woman from East Jerusalem who does not understand her workers rights, or a retiree who is being forced out of his home. Sometimes, it’s a young couple who has fallen into severe debt who can’t imagine how they will ever be able to make their payments. Whether on the phone or in person, these people are all helped by YEDID, the Association for Community Empowerment. As a Community Advocate in the YEDID’s Jerusalem Citizens’ Rights Centre, I have been exposed to the wide range of legal and financial problems that a disturbing proportion of Israelis are faced with every day.

 

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Vote for Yedid to win £1,000

What is the problem?

The State of Israel boasts the second-highest rate of poverty in the OECD; more than 23% of Israeli adults, 33% of the elderly, and 34% of Israeli children live in poverty. Moreover, the gap between the most and least well-off is the largest in the OECD, and is rising rapidly due to the disparities in formal education between these communities. To further complicate matters, approximately only half of the population has Hebrew as a native language, making administration and law a bureaucratic nightmare for new immigrants and Arab citizens of Israel.

Poverty is a self-propagating issue, and those in difficult legal or financial situations are usually stuck unless they can afford the fees for professional advice. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis therefore live under severely reduced socioeconomic conditions and have bleak prospects for the future.

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What does YEDID do?

YEDID’s mission is to empower Israelis to become self-sufficient and civically engaged members of society.

Operating through a nationwide network of 16 Citizens’ Rights Centres and satellites throughout the country, YEDID is staffed by a dedicated team of trained volunteers who operate the kabalat kahal, or community clinic. Anyone can arrive to YEDID with a legal, social, or financial problem and receive free advice on their rights and on how to get their lives back on track.

Additionally, YEDID organizes and funds community related empowerment projects. In seeking to empower Israeli citizens, YEDID also encourages social business and entrepreneurship. Most recently, YEDID has started to promote a jewelry-making school for new immigrants from Ethiopia, who often struggle to find work due to language difficulties and lack of high-school education.

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How would £1000 help?

A donation of this amount could fund budget management courses for families, employment training for women, or fund several youth empowerment programmes.  This is especially important for YEDID, since we operate primarily in Israel’s periphery, where most other charities do not. Supporting YEDID also ensures continued social and economic empowerment of Israelis through legal and financial advice so that every Israeli always has a yedid – Hebrew for “friend” – that they can rely on.

Vote for Yedid to win £1,000

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About the Author

Since finishing his studies in education at Cambridge, Aurel Diamond made aliyah and started teaching at an Israeli primary school. This year, as the New Israel Fund William Frankel Social Justice Fellow, Aurel chose to work for Yedid in Jerusalem as a Community Advocate.

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