(December 7, 2018 / JNS) More than 600 volunteers from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews are spreading the joy of Hanukkah to hundreds of elderly people throughout Israel who live alone.
As part of an ongoing effort on the part of the Fellowship to reduce the phenomenon of loneliness among Israel’s elderly population, the volunteers will arrive at the homes of senior citizens, where they will light Hanukkah candles and provide the elderly with some company during the holiday.
The Fellowship, led by its founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, launched the campaign “Illuminating With Fellowship” to cheer up and lighten the holiday mood of seniors who live alone throughout Israel.
“It is important for us to expel the darkness, and bring light and warmth to the lives of the elderly in Israel on Hanukkah and throughout the year,” said Eckstein.
“Loneliness is one of the most difficult challenges faced by elderly people in Israel,” he continued. “Often, it is even more difficult than the struggle for economic survival that characterizes many in old age.”
The campaign is part of the Fellowship’s mission to improve the well-being of elderly people who live in poverty.
Over the course of this year, the Fellowship is assisting approximately 100,000 elderly people and Holocaust survivors by giving them a monthly food supply, medical assistance, financial aid for heating during the winter and other forms of support, which together amount to NIS 79 million ($21 million).
Leading up to Hanukkah, the Fellowship launched a social-media campaign that called on the public to take part in the initiative. A video was released by the Fellowship encouraging citizens of all ages to participate.
“We are very excited about the wonderful response of good citizens from all over the country who wish to contribute some of their time for the good of a big mitzvah,” said Eckstein, “and invite any Israeli who cares to join us for further action.”