Dear MEPIN Readers,
So many of you have asked me to where you can donate to make an immediate difference. My dear friend and MEPIN Senior Fellow Yitzhak Sokoloff has been working full time for days, turning his tour company into a full time volunteer and philanthropic organization to get help to both soldiers and ordinary Israelis who are in need and distress.
I can assure you that your charity will be well spent. I have seen it in action going back to the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Please read Yitzhak’s note:
below and give generously.
Fifty years ago, services in Israel were interrupted by sirens announcing the beginning of the Yom Kippur War, marking a low point in Israeli history that remains painful after half a century. On Saturday, the sirens sounded again, this time on the morning of Simchat Torah. Israel has already paid a terrible, unthinkable price- perhaps the highest in our entire history. Yet, as during the Yom Kippur War, Israel and the Jewish people as a whole are rapidly coming together to defend the country against those who would destroy us. We will prevail, and then be able to focus on the most important part of being a free people in our own land: creating a society that justifies the prayers, dreams, and aspirations of three thousand years of Jewish history.
I want to thank the many friends and clients who have reached out to us during these difficult days. Your concern and commitment are important beyond words to us personally and to the overall resilience of Israel. Many of you have asked how you can help in practical terms. I hope that this letter helps to answer that question.
We have taken upon ourselves to find ways to assist with the most immediate needs of those hit hardest by the situation- victims of the horrible attacks along the border, soldiers suddenly called to the front lines, and the families they have left behind and the most vulnerable parts of Israeli society. The key to our efforts is linking our deep personal knowledge of Israel in crisis mode and our very expansive network of contacts on the ground with the desire of our friends abroad to render assistance and to trust us to direct it to where it is needed the most.
The Immediate Mission
Like many of you, we have been inundated with requests for financial assistance over the last 48 hours from many worthy and important organizations in Israel and the United States. While we applaud these efforts, we also recognize that although large organizations can mobilize large amounts of money, they require significant amounts of time to conduct due diligence and then disperse the contributions they receive. Right now there are pressing needs on the ground that simply cannot wait. Our goal is to provide maximum assistance in minimum time to multiple trustworthy and deserving initiatives that we know from personal knowledge that require immediate interventions.
Keshet is already helping…
Since Sunday, the Keshet team has gone into emergency mode. Using our own reserves, we have already responded to requests for emergency assistance of food, clothing and basic needs for the survivors of the massive attacks in Kibbutz Nir Am and Be’eri who were forced to flee their homes literally with only the shirts on their backs and we are now expanding these efforts to residents of other communities in the Gaza envelope. We have also been assisting reservists who were mobilized during the last 48 hours and are currently in assembly areas and in urgent need of basic supplies. We have received requests for everything from cell phone chargers, megalites, batteries, sleeping bags, fresh food, energy bars and ceramic vests. Lastly, we are reaching out directly to the communities most affected by the current situation to offerimmediate emergency assistance as the needs change and develop over the next days and weeks.
How This Works
Keshet will continue to advance its own funds as long as possible, but for our efforts to be viable we need your financial assistance. We have partnered with our good friends Rabbi Arnie Gluck and Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough, NJ to facilitate this process. Tax-exempt contributions can be made to TBE, which will in turn issue tax receipts to donors as a recognized U.S. based non-profit organization. Based on your support we will expand our operations during the duration of the crisis, but in the interim we will continue to allocate our own resources based on pledges that we receive from you. This was the model we used during the war in Lebanon in 2006 and it enables us to disperse hundreds of thousands of dollars in response to urgent requests within 48 hours or less.
How to donate to the Keshet Israel Emergency Relief Fund
Contributions should be sent to Temple Beth-El Israel fund via the TBE website: https://templebethelnj.shulcloud.com/form/israel-emergency-relief
Or send a check made payable to: Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
Attn: Rabbi Gluck
67 US Highway 206
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
(If you would like to make a donation by bank transfer, please be in touch with us for details at the email address below.)
Please be sure to send us a note in parallel to your donation whether by check or internet indicating the amount of your donation by e-mail to [email protected]. You are also welcome to recommend us to your own circle of friends and contacts and to suggest projects in Israel that have come to your attention.
These are difficult days for Israel, the Jewish people and those dear friends from around the world who support us. We appreciate your love and support in whatever form it takes and wish you strength, wisdom, health and happiness.
Yitzhak Sokoloff & the Keshet Team