An elderly woman receives assistance in the Pitchon Lev Help Center in Rishon Letzion, Central District.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel’s elderly are not forgotten this holiday season.
For the third year in a row, the Labor and Social Welfare Ministry will offer Israel’s elderly population a place to spend Rosh Hashana and Sukkot free of charge.
For those elderly citizens without family or a place to spend the upcoming holiday, the ministry has invested NIS 1.5 million in making sure they can celebrate the holidays with dignity, with a full stomach and surrounded by people.
The ministry will fully fund every single elderly person aged 67 years old and older for a stay of up to five days during Rosh Hashana and Sukkot. This includes their accommodations, holiday meals and social activities.
Some 90 public institutions throughout the country will open their doors to senior citizens so that they will not be forgotten this holiday.
As the poverty rate and the number of Israel’s elderly population continues to increase so does the demand for this program.
Although the number of how many elderly will make use to the centers is not yet known, the ministry will not turn away anyone who comes forward, and they are making it easier for them to participate as they do not have to pre-register.
A ministry representative said that they are making this service “totally accessible” to the public, there is no registration nor wait list.
“If you are alone, just come, we are offering social activities, meals, and the opportunity to spend time with other people,” Labor and Social Welfare Minister Haim Katz said on Sunday.
“Our goal is to ensure that our elderly population will not remain alone for the holidays,” he said. “I call upon all of our senior citizens to register for these activities at our offices. I want to thank everyone at the ministry for their hard work. It is because of their dedication that this is possible.”