The facts show that in 2002 Israel’s socio-economic situation deteriorated as a result of the ongoing Intifada and because of the recession in Israel and the world. In recent years there has been much less investment in infrastructure in Israel, incoming tourism has dried up, the number of unemployed has risen and the situation of both middle and working class people has worsened.
The National Council for the Child’s 2002 report presented bewildering statistics about poverty in Israel. It showed that 26% of children in the country live below the poverty line – this compares with 27% in Mexico.
A direct result of this recession is the worsening situation of the children living in Youth Aliyah’s residential villages. All aspects of their situation – scholastic, social, behavioral and family – is at risk, while their families are exposed to increased economic hardship. The situation requires greater investment on our part to ensure the children receive the extra support and enrichment needed for their future development.
Our endeavors are a matter of pride for the Jewish Agency, Youth Aliyah Committees and other partners in Israel and worldwide whose continued contributions ensure the existence of the residential villages. If we had the resources we could take in more children. Through your efforts and the dedication of our professionals in the field, we are saving children who if we did not invest in them now, in the future would be trapped in the vicious circle of poverty, unemployment and crime.
Adar Aleph 5763 - February 2003