Wide swathes of Israeli territory in both Northern and Southern Israel have been evacuated due to the ongoing warfare. Residents of these areas are mostly being housed in hotels across the country, at the government’s expense. Others have taken the option of finding accommodations on their own. These citizens are offered compensation for each day, to the tune of 200 NIS a day per adult, and 100 NIS a day per child.

Ashkelon has recently become a destination for Olim moving to Israel from the United States, and Chaim V’Chessed frequently receives calls from new immigrants who have moved there. In recent days, the organization dealt with a troubling issue some of these olim have experienced.

Upon the commencement of hostilities in the South, numerous olim fled the area, and arranged their own accommodations in Jerusalem. They expected to receive compensation, as promised by the government. They were chagrined to be denied funding, due to a startling reason. Apparently, to qualify as an eligible resident, they were required to present a water bill from their home in Ashkelon, showing them as the current resident. Since the olim had recently arrived in Ashkelon, they had not yet changed the name on their water bill, despite renting homes in the city. This rule appears on the website of the Ashkelon municipality.

The families reached out to Chaim V’Chessed, who immediately turned to Bituach Leumi officials, who are responsible for disbursing these funds. We are pleased to report that the rule has now been amended, and the olim will be recognized as residents based on their address which appears in the Population Authority. 

In recent days, this information has been updated on the Bituach Leumi compensation website. Furthermore, Chaim V’Chessed has learned that these residents will even be able to obtain retroactive funding for their housing.