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(photo credit: REUTERS)
A support hotline for English speakers in Israel was opened on Tuesday to provide information and counseling to immigrants who lack the Hebrew skills necessary for the use of municipal hotlines.
“Many of us are feeling stressed and some are feeling overwhelmed – and some just have practical questions – in response to the current events,” said David Morris, the founder of Lema’an Achai and Magen, two of the NGOs involved in the initiative.
“Anglos have a specific challenge that the situation itself can be unfamiliar, even bizarre, for us, and we often lack the personal connections, family support and language skills, that many native Israelis have,” he said.
Municipalities across the country have set up emergency hotlines, but according to Morris many in the English-speaking community in Israel are unable to utilize them. In response, Morris partnered with Mercaz Rakefet, an organization providing counseling services for children, to open up the War- Time Support Line, which is scheduled to operate 24 hours a day, six days a week.
“The objective is to get a call back from a counselor within four hours for a non-emergency,” Morris said.
He said that one of the first callers to the hotline was a woman whose next-door neighbor had been killed and who said that she “wanted to volunteer and help some kind of cause because she felt useless and overwhelmed and wanted to channel her upset into doing something practical to help people.”
Even if the hotline’s operators do not have the answer to a query, Morris said, they will work to connect their callers to someone who does.
The War-Time Support Line can be reached at (02) 999-9678 (x1) or by email at Hotline@MagenProtects.org
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