Nevo Ziv, a journalist from the Israeli media outlet Ynet, celebrated the Passover holiday last year at the Someone to Run With homeless shelter in Tel Aviv. There he learned about the harsh reality that many of these youth face on a daily basis.
In an article that appeared in Ynet, Nevo describes his experience. The door opens at 4:30PM. Slowly, they enter the apartment: homeless young men and women ages 16-24. Many are tired, look exhausted, with dirty clothes and hands, most have wounds and scars on their face. Some of them look “high” while other are more alert. Some are wearing hoodies and others with a cap covering their eyes. No one makes eye contact with one another. None of them have a home or money, but almost all have a Smartphone, although it’s unlikely they actually purchased them. These girls and boys of military age who have not served, are clearly fighting the daily battle of survival.
The Someone to Run With Center - Mishehu Larutz I'to run by ELEM, located within an hour south of Tel-Aviv was filled with 15 homeless youth in fatal risk. Many of these boys and girls are involved in criminal activities and prostitution, drug/alcohol use, cut off from their families, and have no framework or routine. Others are children born into abuse - physical, mental, and sexual – and have spent time in institutions, boarding schools, and foster families. Raised in an emotional wilderness they became lost. They are not to blame.
As we embark on the Passover Seder this year, let us think about those who are spending the holidays without a home and a loving family to support them. Let us support these youth by donating to ELEM, an organization that gives them hope by helping them "Off the Streets and on to Life".