“Due to our visits in these neighborhoods, we met many new people and managed to help them and learn about the social distresses in Israeli society” | cc: flickr, Day 72|366 – Open Doors By âˆž RedLoop âˆž
In the last months our Rights Center in Hedera, which deals with issues of extraction of rights, adopted a new method: we are looking for our target population and visiting people’s homes, As it is written: “But from thence ye will seek the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy Chapter 4, sentence 29). Nico Socolovsky writes about his experiences with the residents of Hadera.
We realized that not enough people know us and that a lot of people gave up on the never-ending struggle against the governmental systems, and continue to live with their distress as with an incurable disease (and therefore do not seek a solution). This is despite the fact that in many cases it is simple knowledge that is required in order to learn how to operate and extract the rights of those in need. Unfortunately, this information is very inaccessible.
A few months ago people from our center began visiting needy neighborhoods in Hedera, in order to reach the people who need us. We enter every building in the neighborhood and knock on every door, offering our services/help.
Due to our visits in these neighborhoods, we met many new people and managed to help them and learn about the social distresses in Israeli society.
The unpleasant meeting with the National Insurance Institution
Last week an interesting event occurred. While walking around the building, two people told us that we were angels sent by God. These are people who did not know how do deal with their distress, and our meeting provided them with solutions to face it.
A few minutes after we met these people we knocked on Irena’s door. She received us nicely and after a brief conversation she decisively said: “Thank you, but I do not need you”. She continued and explained why she was so angry. We soon understood that she had a very bad experience with the National Insurance Office and everything that reminds her of it makes her angry.
It is not pleasant when someone to whom you are offering help gets angry with you, but we have to remember that the anger and discomfort of people like Irena are the reason for our existence; it brings us to be there, in the field and to meet these people.
Irena, a single-mother of three, made aaliya 16 years ago and speaks excellent Hebrew. During our conversation she repeated a couple of times that now it isn’t what it used to be, now I understand and I don’t need anything from them, she added.
We did not give up, and continued the conversation. It turned out that Irena deserves a grant for being a single mother who has a child serving in the army, but she was not willing to listen.
She told us how emotionally difficult it was for her to deal with the Social Insurance office, when she tried to receive what she deserves as a single mother, and that she no longer wants to deal with them.
When I read what I wrote on Irena it seems as if I am talking about an imbalanced woman, but it was not the experience at all. It was like reminding someone of a terrible horror film that they did not even quite understand. The experience of the lack of understanding that Irena relates to her being a new immigrant, is not unique for immigrants, it is a common experience to anyone who has “dealt” with the Social Insurance Office.
The face of an angle or a devil
This horror movie is called dealing with the governmental system. When someone arrives and tries to help, there are people who cannot separate themselves from these experiences that remind them of the devil. The luckier ones see God.
We believe that it can be different, that the State of Israel can take care of its citizens instead of scaring them, and hope that the National Insurance Institute of Israel can, and must, be an accessible and comprehensible body.