On Feb. 16, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews launched launch Operation “Warm Friendship.” The group’s 4,000 volunteers visited more than 17,000 seniors in 22 towns in Israel and presented them with a voucher to help pay their heating bills.
They distributed nearly $2 million in vouchers in one day to elderly people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to pay for heat during the chilling weather and near-freezing temperatures this winter. Many of these seniors in Israel are Holocaust survivors and have no one else to assist them.
The generous donations came from Christians in the U.S.and in Canada. Besides the money to pay heating costs, they also delivered thousands of new blankets to families and individuals of all ages since the start of winter.
On Feb. 16 the volunteers made personal visits to 17,164 seniors ages 75 and older who receive social services and gave a heating voucher for 400 shekels (about $110) to help them pay their heating bills. The volunteers, represented dozens of IFCJ partner organizations and spent time talking to the needy families and gave them the voucher, blankets and food.
The program volunteers said that their contribution was a message to the elderly citizens of Israel that they weren’t alone and there were people here to help, including hundreds of thousands of Christians in America and Canada who care very much about what happens to them. They added that their goal was to both heat the heart and home of every person in Israel that they could help.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), headquartered in Chicago and Jerusalem, was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.