Monday, November 19, 2012

Israelis helping the Sandy-afflicted

A guest post by Tikun Olam

Not too long ago DovBear asked where Israel was in the United States' time of need. I am proud to say that his post sparked a communication between myself and Israeli commenter "PeninaG." Penina put a tremendous amount of time and energy running with an idea that I mentioned off the cuff. She helped arrange for a sizable number of school children to write letters to Jewish school children in the areas badly hit by Sandy. It was a wonderful way to teach both Israeli and American Jewish children that even though we live far away from one another, we care about each other and are still one people. Thank you Penina. There is no doubt in my mind that the letters sent by the Israeli children will bring smiles to the faces of many here in the U.S., many of whom are still unable to return to their homes.

Of course right in the midst of the very beginnings of the cleanup here from Sandy, and boy to we have a long road ahead of us, our attention is turned to Israel, the hundreds of rockets coming from Gaza (and some from Syria) and the strong response of the Israeli Government and army.

I can't speak for all American Jewry, I can only speak for myself and my immediate family though from my Facebook feed, it seems, I can pretty much speak for almost every Jew in my life. We (meaning American Jewry who seems to be overwhelming in agreement with me) are in full support of Israel and many of our hearts are currently in the East. I myself have a large part of my family in Israel. Some in the South have already moved in with my brother-in-law in RBS. Another has been called up from the reserves. My husband and I are glued to the news and so are most of the people in our lives. My emails with my Israeli family go back and forth all day long to get updates big and small.

For what its worth, my FB feed is 80% status updates (the other 20% are not Jewish and don't follow the Middle East news much) related to Israel and all in its defense. My son's Conservative Jewish day school already sent a video to be viewed by their sister Israeli school on youtube to show their students unequivocal support from their peers. Millions of dollars have already been committed to Israel by Jewish civilians to help in any way we civilians can. We are petitioning media for fair coverage and our politicians for their support.

We are all watching our President. Many of us, even Obama supporters, feel that he took some missteps at the beginning of his first term with regards to Israel but we are proud and confident that he is supporting Israel today. Many of us are holding our breath hoping it continues. We are thrilled that the US/Israel collaboration for the Iron Dome has succeeded in intercepting many of the missiles and we are proud that the US was a part of that and a part of preventing further loss of life and property damage.

I know what it's like to have my heart in the East just as many Jews abroad are feeling today. While I feel like a Jew like me does not have a place in Israeli society anymore, I love my family, my people and believe strongly in the absolute need for the State of Israel to remain a safe haven for Jews for all time.

Israel is not alone. American Jewry is thinking of all of you, the religious are certainly praying for you and American Jewry will continue to be here when it is time to rebuild and move forward.

Wishing all our Israeli brethren a peaceful Shabbat* and the IDF a swift and successful end to this mission resulting in secured borders and limited casualties.

*This was submitted on Friday
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1 comment:

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