The General Fund (Keren Haklalit) is the foundation of Chai Ami and its charitable endeavors. The Fund was established as a means of providing every disadvantaged Jew with his respective needs, from basic necessities such as utility bills and food to clothing and tuition. Chai Ami also helps support families in crisis; funds medical treatment in Israel and abroad; sponsors wedding expenses for orphaned brides and grooms; and offers families an opportunity to rehabilitate and achieve financial stability by endowing scholarships for higher education and vocational training that allow them to become self-sufficient.
Chai Ami’s General Fund operates in a super-organized, efficient manner that preserves the dignity of its beneficiaries. Every petitioner must submit an official application along with relevant documentation and endorsement letters. The organization’s administrative faculty reviews each application individually and determines if and how much money to approve in funding.
The organization works in close contact with local welfare departments which enthusiastically commend Chai Ami’s outstanding efforts on behalf of the needy. Working hand-in-hand with public authorities, Chai Ami reviews each application comprehensively to ascertain if the applicant is eligible for government or welfare assistance, and if so, to ensure that they benefit from all possible sources of funding.
Beyond providing for the needy, Chai Ami also seeks to rehabilitate families and draw them out of the vicious cycle of debt. Representatives of Chai Ami work individually with families in debt, offering financial counseling and contacting the bank, mortgage bank, or other creditor to help arrange an easier payment plan, lower interest rates and fees, and sometimes, even lower the actual capital debt while taking responsibility to ensure that the family will maintaina fixed payment plan.
In the past few years, Chai Ami has successfully dealt with hundreds of appeals from needy families, many of whom in one painful blow, plummeted into an ocean of hardship and debt. In addition to its mission of supporting and rehabilitating families and leading them on the road to financial recovery, the organization also sees it as a value to grant every applicant full attention and emotional support that accounts for his feelings and pain, preserves confidentiality, and allows him to maintain his dignity. Even when the organization is compelled to refuse a request for aid, the faculty still makes a point of contacting the applicant via the recommending welfare office or rabbi and referring them to the proper party.
Chai Ami has spearheaded a revolution in the world of giving and transformed the lives of hundreds of families who were on the brink of despair for the better. The gifts, financial and emotional support that Chai Ami bestows upon them helps them regain financial stability, pride, and return to happy, healthy lives.
Amazingly, some of Chai Ami’s early beneficiaries eventually became proud donors to the organization, grateful of their capacity to give back to the wonderful people who supported them in their times of adversity. One heartwarming story is that of the family whose house burned down completely, leaving only charred testimony to the blaze. With nothing but the clothes on their backs, the family appealed desperately to Chai Ami for emergency assistance; and the organization immediately responded that it would fund all appliances and furniture for the family’s temporary rental apartment. Within several days, the bereft family had a fully-furnished and equipped house, along with clothing and essential household items. Months later, after the family recovered from the trauma, and the father was back to work, he sent a very generous donation to the organization and has since become one of Chai Ami’s chief patrons.
At Chai Ami, we view it as our honor and privilege to help Jewish families in distress. Watching entire families surmount challenge, overcome trauma and hardship, rehabilitate, rebuild and eventually gain financial stability is the greatest possible reward for our efforts, and it imbues us with greater strength, desire, and aspiration to continue giving and giving…