TEEmail_August 2014_Uram (2)

Message From Keshet

Update on the Situation in Israel and Ways in Which you can Help

Dear Friend,

We are continuing in our efforts to provide support for two Israeli causes. The first is Lev Echad, which dispatches volunteers to man the shelters and to work with the elderly and shut-ins in what are presently the most dangerous parts of Israel. Lev Echad has expanded the number of its volunteers from 2,500 to 4,500 over the course of the last week. It’s hard to gauge how many lives these young people have saved by their presence, but it’s clear to all of us that volunteerism and national solidarity are some of Israel’s most important weapons in this war. Lev Echad is continuing to expand its assistance to the civilian population and every shekel is put to good use.
The second project we are engaged in is an effort to support specific IDF units with non-military assistance that help the soldiers overcome physical discomforts that can affect their ability to stay alert and focused. This past Friday I went to the Gaza area to visit the unit with which we started this project, and I was able to see how they operate up close. Although I cannot describe the specifics of their mission, they play a critical role in allowing the IDF to strike at Hamas targets with a precision that takes the breath away — and saves untold numbers of Palestinian civilian lives. They made me proud to be an Israeli and proud to be able to turn your generosity into concrete expressions of support. We were able to provide them with 200 pairs of socks and underwear and 6 mini-air conditioners to help ameliorate the sweltering conditions they encounter when sent off the front line for very precious hours of rest.
In total, our efforts produced donations of $14,000 which were given to Lev Echad and to the IDF. Considering the fact that this operation has thus far cost the State of Israel almost two billion dollars, that is not very much, but by filling in the cracks I believe we are making a tremendous contribution. As you know, we are not a philanthropic organization, but during national emergencies our practice is to use our connections and expertise at the service of our clients and friends in identifying places where immediate intervention can have the most impact, and we are proud that they have enabled us to represent them.
Over the last few days we were approached by several other special units belonging to the combat engineers, a tank unit and a Special Forces group connected to Golani. Reservists have now been sent into Gaza to reinforce the younger soldiers. Within 24 hours we were able to provide several small units with important non-military items that they requested, in particular, hiker’s headlamps of various luminosities.
There is still much to do, and we are working hard, carefully assessing where our assistance can do the most good. Today we received requests for $10,000 worth of assistance for units where we feel that our contribution is critical. (We do not deal with food or sweets, of which the IDF now has enough to last through the next millennium)! With your help, I would like to be able to sign off on immediate delivery of headlamps, absorbent towels, socks and underwear for a large group of reservists who have left their families behind at this difficult time.
Last but not least, we have received a request through a very special and eminently reliable Palestinian friend for emergency funds to assist families stuck in Gaza who have run afoul of the Hamas and therefore are likely to be denied humanitarian assistance from the outside world when it arrives. He himself now lives in Ramallah, having fled Gaza after having been targeted by the Hamas because of his dialogue work with Israelis. It is still too early to transfer such funds, but we hope to be able to begin this project as soon as the fighting comes to an end.
In order to make a (U.S.) tax-deductible contribution for any of these purposes please do one of the following:
Donate by Credit Card:
Make your donation by credit card through PayPal to Torat Reva Yerushalayim, and click on the “Make a Donation” button. T.R.Y. is a U.S. recognized 501 C 3 non-profit, which has generously offered to pass on all donations to these projects at no cost. Please write “Lev Echad” or “IDF” or “Gaza Families” in the PayPal “purpose” box.  
Donate by Check:
Checks can be mailed to:
Torat Reva Yerushalayim
C/o Alan Sokoloff,
180 East Prospect Avenue #142
Mamaroneck, NY 10543.
In both cases:
Please e-mail info@keshetisrael.co.il to inform us of the donation and to tell us how you wish your money to be spent. Keshet will advance an equivalent amount of its own funds in order for the funds to be immediately available.
With best wishes to all of you and prayers for peace,
Yitzhak Sokoloff
Founder and Chairman
Keshet: The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel