NOV 11-12, 2023

Orphan Shabbat - A Global Initiative to Raise Awareness for the Orphaned and Vulnerable Child


Will you stand for the fatherless?

Get Inspired

The OVC Crisis in Israel

The OVC (orphan and vulnerable child) crisis in Israel is particularly complex. Due to political, social, and cultural factors, the vast majority of orphans and at-risk children reside in institutions, left without a permanent family.

There are over 432,111 at-risk children in Israel.

More than 11,410 children have been removed from their homes by the Ministry of Welfare, only 25% of those children are in foster care.

Couples wait an average of 5 years to adopt a child and only 80 successful adoptions occur each year.

We’re not all called to do the same thing,
But we can certainly all do something.

Create a plan

Everyone can do something

Orphan care can be intimidating. Many people do not have the time or resources to foster or adopt and believe that, because of their limitations, they can't do anything. However, YOU HAVE A VOICE and that voice has the power to engage others in reaching out to those in need around you.


As an individual, it is often hard to see what one person can do for orphans on their own. Yet each person has the potential to be an agent of change to bring hope to children in need. Here are a few ways you can care for orphans and vulnerable children:

  • Become a regional coordinator for Orphan Shabbat. Make a commitment to be the local voice by reaching out to educate others on Orphan Shabbat and the excitement surrounding this day. Use your entrepreneurial skills to suggest, enhance and develop ideas.
  • Provide meals for families who are fostering or have adopted children.
  • Volunteer to serve at a home for orphan or vulnerable children every month or even every week.
  • Volunteer your skills to serve in the orphan crisis. Whether you’re a cook, cleaner, financial planner, or graphic designer, connect with people and organizations that would gladly make use of your skills.
  • Consider hosting, fostering, or adopting a child in need.
  • Commit to praying for orphaned and vulnerable children. Invite people from your community to join you.

Each congregation, business, or local council is uniquely situated to meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in your community. Here are a few ideas of how your community can be a voice for these children on Orphan Shabbat and throughout the year:

  • Host a luncheon. Bring in orphan care professionals to educate
    the community.
  • Host a fundraiser to raise support for a local foster or adoption initiative.
  • Provide a respite night each month. Provide childcare for foster and adoptive parents, so that they can have a time to rest and recharge.
  • Pray with your congregation for orphans and vulnerable children in your community and around the globe, as well as for foster and adoptive families. “A Prayer for Orphans” at the end of the toolkit could be a place to start.
  • Propose a resolution to your congregation, business, or local council affirming your stance to care for orphaned and vulnerable children.

"Take up the cause of the fatherless." - Yeshayahu 1:17

Inspire Others

Share the Vision

Use the following resources to inspire and encourage others to join the cause of Orphan Shabbat.

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Download the Orphan Sunday Field Guide

Orphan Shabbat is the Jewish expression of Orphan Sunday worldwide. Enter your email address to gain access to the Orphan Sunday Field Guide. It is filled with resources, ideas, and tools that are designed to support you as you engage congregations and local partners in your community on behalf of vulnerable children and families.