Elderly, Alone Israelis Invited to Celebrate Chagim at Old-Age Homes

YERUSHALAYIM -
People browse Rosh Hashanah gifts on display in the Rav Shefa mall Erev Rosh Hashanah. (Kuvien Images)

Elderly Israelis who have no family to host them for the holidays will be invited to old age homes for meals and hosting. Under the slogan “no Israeli left behind,” the Welfare Ministry will coordinate the invitations issued by the homes to invite thousands of elderly who have no place to spend the upcoming Yamim Tovim.

The invitations will be issued for the two days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah.

The homes will provide the guests with rooms and meals, with the bill picked up by the Ministry. The invitations will help those who are alone from suffering the difficulties of loneliness during a time when in the past they would have been with their families or spouses. Individuals who did not receive invitations can invite themselves by calling a special phone number provided by the ministry.

The invitations have been issued over the past several years, but the ministry decided this year to expand the program. Whereas in the past there was an income test in order to join, the Ministry said this year that it would not be asking for proof of income. Dr. Avigdor Kaplan, director general of the ministry, said he had urged his staff to seek out candidates to join the program “in order to enable all Israelis to enjoy the holidays with the respect and dignity due them.”