JOINing to rescue from financial and legal quagmires

Thousands of families fall into complex legal, financial and bureaucratic quagmires every year, and struggle mightily against creditor pressures, business and family disruption, and a system designed to frustrate. The Solutions project provides mediation, advocacy, debt rehabilitation, loans and legal advice to extricate people from convoluted and tortuous predicaments.

Solutions rebuilds the individual with help from community, businesses, professionals, other non-profits and the individual himself. The complex situations require our expertise and experience to manage, but the solutions require a team effort, not least of which from the reengaged client who had been immobilized by overwhelming hopelessness and confusion.

Stories of Success

Elisheva made aliyah from Russia with her mother. She married and divorced, and was left alone to support her two small children. Then she was introduced to Gavriel. Although Gavriel was older and from a markedly different culture and background, she longed to be married and hastily tied the knot. Shortly after their marriage, however, Elisheva began to notice strange behaviors on the part of her new husband. Only then did she learn that he was under psychiatric care and suffering from depression. Gavriel was verbally and physically aggressive and abusive to Elisheva and her children. Numerous times the neighbors called the police to take Gavriel away in order to protect Elisheva, who was now pregnant. After the birth of a daughter, Elisheva insisted on a divorce, but Gavriel refused. He made outrageous and impossible demands and demanded full custody of their new child. Elisheva turned to Solutions for help. Meir Shternberg became deeply immersed in resolving the situation and carried lengthy discussions late into the night. Against the forecasts of lawyers familiar with the situation, Solutions was able to procure acquiescence of the husband, negotiate a settlement and facilitate the divorce. Solutions provided basic financial assistance to keep Elisheva afloat until she finds a job.


In 1992 Alexander and Vicky married with dreams of building a beautiful new life. But those dreams shattered one by one as tragedy struck their families. First, Alexander’s brother was killed in a terror attack, leaving Alexander the sole offspring of his sick, broken parents. He quit his studies at university in order to care for them, but nonetheless Alexander’s father suffered a heart attack shortly afterwards and passed away. His mother fell completely on the young couple for care and support. Meanwhile, Vicky’s parents, too, were not well and depended on the young couple. Lacking a degree Alexander found very low-paying work. In 2000 Alexander decided to return to his studies and finish his degree in order to support his family. He took a bank loan to pay for tuition and to live on. But when Vicky developed a serious thyroid gland illness and had to discontinue work, Alexander was forced to discontinue his studies a second time. Again without a degree, Alexander struggled to financially support a family plus care for a wife who was ill, his mother, his in-laws and seven children, of whom five suffer from physical and mental disabilities. Physically and emotionally drained, Alexander became deeply mired in debt and turned to Solutions for help. Solutions negotiated with Alexander’s creditors to remove penalties and interest, and reduced the debt from 200,000 NIS to 70,000 NIS upon conditions of immediate repayment. Seeing the opportunity to allow Alexander and Vicky start anew, their extended family stepped up to pay off the 70,000 NIS debt.


Shortly after her marriage, Meira began to realize that her husband, Yossi, was an addicted gambler. At first she didn’t understand the severity of his problem, but over time it became clear. He gambled away whatever money they had, Meira’s salary, and eventually hundreds of thousands of shekels in loans, guaranteed by family and friends. Creditors come to their home demanding repayment. Electricity was shut off for extended periods, including winters with infants. Yossi fled, leaving Meira two weeks after birth, with four other young children, to answer to insistent criminal underworld creditors. Meira suffered terribly until she finally decided she needed a divorce, but it took her three years to receive it. When she finally received the divorce six months ago, she was still burdened by huge debt and her children’s schools were threatening to kick them out. Her meager salary of 1,500 NIS ($425) a month and a small government welfare stipend don't begin to cover even her daily expenses and rent. Yossi does not pay child support, and her parents have no means to help out. Solutions successfully convinced businesses and creditors to have compassion for Meira’s plight, and reduced her debt from 130,000 NIS to only 10,000 NIS. Together with a local charity, Solutions then covered the remaining debt of 10,000 NIS. Meira is now able to make a new life for herself unburdened by debt.

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