BLESSING ISRAELI CHILDREN AFFECTED BY THE FIRES: In December, Israel experienced the worst fires in modern Israeli history, burning an estimated 9,900 acres, destroying five million trees, killing 44 people, and forcing the evacuation of thousands from several communities near the blaze. During that time, we learned that Yemin Orde – a village in northern Israel that houses, cares for and educates at-risk Jewish children, many of whom who don’t have any parents – was hit hard by the raging Carmel fires, and needed help. The more we learned, the more their story moved us….To read the rest of this story about how The Joshua Fund is helping rebuild this Israeli children’s village, please click here.
WITH POVERTY RISING IN ISRAEL, THE JOSHUA FUND TO OPEN EIGHTH FOOD DISTRIBUTION CENTER: Israel’s economy is growing faster than any other country in the industrialized world, but not everyone is benefitting. Poverty in Israel is rising, yet with so much of the government’s budget going towards national security, social welfare budgets are shrinking and many families are really struggling.
- Fully 25 percent of Israelis live under the poverty level
(which is less than $900 for a family of four per month), up from 23.7% in 2008.
- In 2009, 123,000 more Israelis fell into poverty, according to the most
recent government statistics.
- Roughly 1-in-3 children live in poverty in Israel, up 66,700 since 2008.
- 70% of those who earn only minimum wage in Israel are women.
- Ultra-Orthodox and Arab families, on average, are also more likely than secular Jewish Israelis to live in poverty,mainly because they tend to have significantly more children.
- Of the 240,000 Holocaust Survivors who live in Israel today, 40 percent live in poverty.
Compounding the problem: food prices in Israel are rising significantly….To read the rest of this story, please click here.
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
- Gaddafi’s scorched earth: Libya’s skies turn black as desperate dictator blows up oil pipes and turns his tanks on civilians
- NYT: Christians and Muslims in Fatal Clash Near Cairo
- Washington Post: “Thirteen people died in overnight clashes between Christians and Muslims in the worst outbreak of sectarian violence in Egypt since last month’s ouster of president Hosni Mubarak….”
- Haaretz: U.S. official: Iran moving to brink of nuclear weapons capability