Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Elul 5763 - September 4, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Helping Poor Families

To the Editor:

The effects of cuts in child benefits are now being felt by many families. We probably feel that there is nothing the man in the street can do to help, besides davening for a change in government policy and maybe responding more generously to appeals for tzedokoh.

However, as I learned from another article on the subject, this policy is not based on the weakness of the economy but on ideology. If there is a shortage of money for child benefit, it should be given only for third and subsequent children, as was done in the past. While there are families who count every shekel, many would not have noticed the loss of one or two hundred shekel a month. Even in larger families, there might be only one or two children left at home; for such families, child benefit has become relatively insignificant. But this wouldn't have suited wealthy Shinui supporters who, I understand, threatened to leave the government if child benefits were means-tested.

I propose a Kol Yisroel Chaverim project. Those who can afford it, would donate their child benefit to a central Kuppah. Several smaller families, or bigger families whose children have mostly left home, would make up the amount due to larger or younger families, who are suffering from a sudden shortfall. Such a scheme could be introduced in every community, even secular ones, since any large family, regardless of religious or political affiliation, would be eligible.

Who knows what might be the consequence of a nationwide tzedokoh awakening!

With teshuva and tefillah, it could remove the ro'a hagezeiroh!

I intend writing, b'eH, to publications in Chutz la'Aretz, to encourage their readers to contribute their surplus child benefit to Kupat Kol Yisroel Chaverim

All the project needs is an established tzedaka organization or a reliable individual or group in each community to administer it.

Who is willing to step forward?

Rabbi M. Fletcher

Rechov Nachal Revivim 17/3

Ramat Bet Shemesh

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