October 2023

Shelter from the Storm

Children of the shelter hold a sign reading: "Thank you, dear soldiers".

Supporting the Women and Children

in the Wake of the Worst-ever Attack on Israel's Civilian Population

Dear Friends,

I still cannot find the words to express the horror of October 7. 

These are truly terrifying times, especially for the women in our shelter and halfway apartments, who came to us already post-traumatic and in crisis.

The hardest hit are the families in the halfway apartments in the south of Israel, who are exposed day and night to the blare of sirens and the frightening sounds of incoming rockets. The women cannot go out to work, and there is no school routine for the children.

We were shattered to learn that among the fallen soldiers was Binyamin Teka, zl, who lived in one of our halfway apartments 15 years ago with his mother and sister. How do you comfort a mother who was strong enough to break the cycle of domestic violence for the sake of her children, and who has now lost what is most dear to her?

How can you be a source of strength for women and children who have fled the violence of their homes when the home we all share is in flames? How can you support and encourage a staff of professionals, when each and every one of us is in pain and overwhelmed?

No one prepared us for the events of October 7. There is no way for us to know when it will all end and what our lives will look like once the fighting is over. We do know that the most vulnerable and weakest populations of society are the first to be negativally impacted and are all too often those who pay the steepest price.

At Woman to Woman we are focused on maintaining the physical and emotional health of all of us, so that we can continue to offer the best response to the women and their children now and in the months to come.

I am filled with pride and admiration for our amazing staffers who, despite the challenges and difficulties, continue to function. This is truly empowering.

Over and above everything else, I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for your steadfast support. We are grateful to all of you for continuing to think of us materially with your generosity, and in spirit, with your concern.

May we all have better days ahead. 

Naomi Schneiderman, Executive Director

Binyamin Teka, zl

Even in the Midst of a War -

Heartwarming Moments From the Past Weeks 

Rachel Chubara, the Children's Center teacher and a long-serving staff member, led the women and children in song and dance during the sirens and kept the children busy preparing cards for soldiers: "Our shelter withstood previous crises we underwent as a nation. May we have the strength to persevere this time as well, so these days will be meaningful for the women and children."

Mariam (name changed), a woman from the shelter who is originally from Ethiopia, struggles to find her place in the workforce and saves every shekel she earns by cleaning houses. Nevertheless, she insisted on donating her hard-earned day wages (NIS 600) for the war effort, saying: "I understand we are all doing what we can - this is my share."

Of course, our staff convinced her to save the money for herself and her children, but she left us in tears.  

Despite sirens and hardship, Shlomit (name changed), who resides in a halfway apartment in the southern coast of Israel, is busy helping others: She prepared food packages for soldiers to which she added cards made by her children. 

Not only do our Board members devote their time volunteering for Woman to Woman, but they have been dedicating themselves to additional volunteer work. 

In the photo: Ofra Ginio, Director of the Board, in the emergency center for locating those unaccounted for following the Hamas attacks.

Adi Manzur, a social worker by profession and a member of our Board, has begun providing emergency emotional assistance: "Healing means, among other things, reestablishing a functioning family unit. In this I see a direct link between our work at Woman to Woman and the work being done today throughout Israel."

Your Donation is Greatly Appreciated!
Now, more than ever, we need donations to continue to help those who have no economic backing or family support.
USA - tax-deductible contributions can be made on-line
or by check/wire transfer via PEF Israel Endowment Funds.

Woman to Woman is partially funded by the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of our many friends and donors:
Anatta Ltd. (cc); Bonot Alternativa; The Clore Israel Foundation; Coca Cola Israel; The Jerusalem Foundation; Arlene R. Kogod; Kol Nashim (Colorado Hebrew Chorale); The Jennifer Lalin Memorial Foundation (Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey); Matan - Investing in the Community; PEF Israel Endowment Funds; Rochlin Foundation; Schusterman Foundation Israel (SFI); Lady Nancy Wald, and all our generous private donors in Israel and abroad.