Yad Yisroel – Sponsor a Child
Yad Yisroel’s Sponsor a Child program reaches beyond the local and regional scene to the worldwide Jewish community with the aim to develop meaningful exchanges and lasting relationships between kind supporters and individual children.
Yad Yisroel established the Beis Aharon Schools ( one for boys and one for girls ) and a state recognized Orphanage in response to the appalling socio-economic conditions that afflict thousands of Jewish families in Belarus, where the average domestic income is $220 per month.
The children of these families live in harsh poverty and suffer from malnutrition, poor health conditions and lack of education.
In addition, many Jewish children growing up in Belarus and other locales in the former Soviet Union are scarcely aware of their Jewish Identity. Their families are assimilated and all but estranged from the Jewish community, and their landscape is devoid of any semblance of Jewishness.
Then, with the intervention Yad Yisroel, their parents agree to send them to the Sunday School Cheder or one of the other programs run by Yad Yisroel for the purpose of instilling in them an awareness of their Jewish identity.
With such childhood circumstances, the involvement of outside supporters is a most valued benefit.
Under Sponsor a Child, Jewish benefactors from as far and wide as Melborne, Montreal, New York and Tel Aviv agree to “sponsor” a child. This generally entails different levels of financial support for the sponsored child, usually involving payment for school supplies, clothing and other necessities over an agreed upon timeframe as well as periodic gift packages on birthdays and holidays.
But beyond the material benefits, the personal connection that is established between the caring giver and the beneficiary child is invaluable. Small gestures such as a phone call, email message or actual visit reinforce the child with a sense that he or she is secure in the warm embrace of world Jewry.
Indeed, many youth who have graduated Yad Yisroel educational programs have fond memories of the personal sponsors who helped them on their path with a kind word.