Founded in 5774 (2014), Chai Ami Charity & Chesed for Zion is a non-profit organization whose mission is to grant monetary aid and emotional support to families in severe financial distress in Israel, and specifically in the settlement bloc of Judea, Samaria and Binyamin. Despite its recent establishment, Chai Ami has achieved outstanding feats in the world of charity, continuing and expanding its efforts from previous years when the organization still functioned under unofficial status.
At the helm of this magnificent operation are several illustrious individuals who have made charity and chesed their life’s calling. Most notable among them is Rabbi Sam Kassin, Executive Director of Midrash Sephardi Institutions, who has over thirty years experience teaching and supporting the growth and development of Jewish communities in the Diaspora. He devotes his heart and soul in an unparalleled display of ahavat Yisrael to all Jewish sectors, and his values are expressed in his organization Chai Ami, which grants loving support, compassion and assistance to any Jew in need!
Rabbi Kassin and his team of devoted volunteers wave the banner of chesed and ahavat Yisrael in Israel. Their work, spanning many years and untold effort, facilitates Jews in all realms of life. The organization funds basic living expenses (electric, water, groceries), furniture and appliances; subsidizes medical procedures and surgeries; supports widows and orphans; empowers youth at risk and helps them acquire confidence and skills for life; and leads families out of the vicious cycle of poverty and debt.
Chai Ami’s charitable efforts are made possible by generous donors around the world who share our commitment to support Jews in Israel, and specifically in the settlements.
Throughout years of serving the community, Rabbi Kassin was exposed to myriad difficult cases and encountered countless individuals in distress as they passed through his beit midrash seeking assistance, comfort and support. These individuals spanned all sectors and communities, yet shared a common denominator: Need. Touched by the pain and suffering of so many of his brethren—innocent men, women, teens, and children—he determined to establish an official chesed and charity institution to assist them.
Chai Ami works to maximize every donation dollar and utilize it to benefit the largest number of people in the optimal way. The organization’s modus operandi was developed in order to assist every individual who appeals for support while preserving his privacy and dignity, ever a paramount goal of the founders.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Chai Ami’s office is flooded daily with appeals spanning a wide range of issues and needs, yet all sharing the same heartrending, desperate cry for help. The vast majority of cases are families that managed comfortably for many years but suddenly suffered a crisis that upended their lives and cast them into a new, painful reality.
Applications for financial aid are relayed to Chai Ami from welfare authorities or settlement rabbis who are personally acquainted with the individual or family in need. After it is clear that there is no government or welfare allocation for this purpose, Chai Ami’s Application Committee comprehensively reviews each and every application to determine the type of aid it will provide based on the circumstance. In more complex situations, the Committee also seeks means of helping the family rehabilitate in the long-term, thus providing them not only with immediate, temporary aid, but also with tools for future success.
The organization entrusts the donation money to a welfare officer or settlement rabbi who is responsible to ensure that the money reaches its destination. This method of charity preserves the honor and dignity of the recipient which is a powerful contributing factor to emerging from the poverty cycle and rehabilitating the entire family.
Chai Ami! Live, My Nation!
The name Chai Ami derives from its foundational premise, which is not only to assist and support our fellow Jews, but also to transform the recipients into proud, happy people who carry themselves with dignity and truly live! With the help of welfare and financial counselors, people’s lives and families transform for the better as they receive tools and support to acquire and retain financial stability.