Hello! I am an American citizen currently living in Netivot, Israel. People face tremendous financial challenges especially young people trying to make their way here. Years ago I decided to help poor women from our community who are about to be married. In Israel, there is no custom for bridal showers and young women from destitute homes find their forthcoming marriage to be periods of sadness rather than joy as they are helpless to set up even a modest home.
Our community was founded in 1956 as a Negev development town and it has been an undisputed Israeli territory since 1948. The first residents were immigrants from Morocco and Tunisia who were joined by immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia in the 1990s. For many years, Netivot suffered from high unemployment. Since 2008, Netivot has been the target of grad missle attacks from Gaza. In 2012, a rocket exploded near the school where I teach.
I decided to take action to help these young women. Let me tell you about a few of the brides helped this year:
Rina Bat Tzion is 30 years old. Her father deserted the family when she was a toddler leaving behind a large family. Extremely poor, Rina couldn't afford post high school studies. She cleaned homes for years helping her Mom manage. This year she got married in a modest ceremony.
Two sisters, Racheli and Ziva were both married this year. Sadly their mom is severely ill with Type 2 diabetes and the family survived a grad rocket landing near their home last year. Through all of this their mother lost her vision from diabetes and now her sanity and she lives wheelchair bound in a geriatric home at age 52!!!!
These brides would have had no blankets, towels, sheets, pots and pans, or dishes had I not gone knocking on doors collecting items and cash for them. I personally vet all brides to ascertain they are truly needy. I try to attain used furniture and appliances but dishes and towels should be new, even if few! However the financial situation here is worsening making my task almost impossible.
Please open up your hearts to these young women who so desperately need our help. I have set up a Fund for Netivot Brides and ask that you spread the word and encourage friends and family who care to help to give to the fund safely through PayPal.
Your kindness and generosity will make a world of difference for these young women.
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- bracha leifer
- Gina Roscigno
Esther Hilf Revivo