With the fighting in the Middle East it’s hard for those of us in the United States to know what to do or how to reach out to Israel.
If your child is currently looking for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Project, this is a good time to consider “Tikkun Olam” meaning “repair the world.” It reminds us that along with the celebration, we can all take part in healing the world.
Here are just a few great charities and organizations that support those fighting on behalf of Israel.
American Friends of Magen David Adom supports the lifesaving efforts of Magen David Adom in Israel which is the national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service similar to The Red Cross. The name means “Red Star of David.” The American organization raises more than $20 million annually for the Israeli group.
Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) makes it easy to organize a Mitzvah Project to benefit the IDF soldiers. During one part of the program you will learn about the soldiers, develop leadership skills, and have a lot of fun! There is a range of possible Mitzvah Projects – sporting events, bake sales, walk-a-thons, fashion shows, events with visiting Israeli soldiers – and FIDF will provide the guidance and assistance to ensure that whatever project you choose to do, it will be a great success. FIDF programs fund educational scholarships; provide social services and financial aid to distressed young soldiers to help their families stay afloat; and support special programs for the children and families of fallen soldiers.
Israel Gives is the world’s main Website for donating to Israel. Here, you can search for and donate online to any of Israel’s 30,000 non-profit organizations. Your donation is safe, secure, and helps support the organizations and causes in Israel you care about most.
Kids for Kids helps Jewish children who have been victims of terrorism in Israel. In addition, KIDS FOR KIDS encourages Jewish youth the world over to get involved in helping to relieve the suffering of their Israeli counterparts. Their mission is to foster supportive activities like teen support groups and clubs, creative therapeutic activities, hospital visits, home-care, psychological clinics, or direct help in the form of supplies or financial gifts for families in need, Kids For Kids is there supporting those who have felt the damaging affects of terrorism.
The Lone Soldier Center was established in Israel to support these members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The Center volunteers are working around the clock to arrange hospital visits to Lone Soldiers (they don’t have relatives to be with them), to help parents who have traveled to Israel to be near their Lone Soldier children, and to purchase and deliver the basic staples needed to keep these brave young people at the ready to defend the Jewish homeland.
OneFamily is an Israel-based philanthropic organization that helps those Israeli victims of militant attacks – those who have been bereaved, those who have been injured, and those suffering from post-trauma as a result of militant attacks. OneFamily provides direct financial, legal, and emotional assistance to Israeli victims of terrorism. OneFamily is the family member every victim wishes they had: listening to their problems with a sensitive ear; giving because we want to, based upon need, and maintaining ongoing, unconditional one-on-one contact.
Pizza IDF allows you to send warm food to active duty soldiers who, day after day, are fighting terror and protecting the all Jewish people. Over the last two years they have delivered thousands of pizza pies (and other food too) to many thousands of soldiers. It goes well beyond getting a hot pizza or soup late at night at a lonely post. It is as tremendous an experience to give them out as it is for the soldiers to receive them. And they love to know that people everywhere support and care for them.
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel is known as “the Hospital with a Heart” for its century-long reputation for treating patients with special kindness and care. We treat over 250,000 people a year and have treated over 40% of those injured in terrorist attacks. Shaare Zedek does not receive any government funding for new equipment or to update its facilities. The Hospital is supported through the generosity of donors throughout the United States and around the world.
Jewish National Fund/Operation Protective Edge Launched in Israel so you can make your voice heard. Rockets continue to fall on Israel in the worst escalation of violence in months. In response, the IDF has launched Operation Protective Edge, aimed at retrieving stability for the residents of Israel, eliminating Hamas’ capabilities and destroying terror infrastructure that operates against the State of Israel and its civilians. Jewish National Fund has launched an emergency campaign to assist Israel’s citizens all over the country.
The Good People Fund is guided by the philosophy that a simple act of kindness can make a world of difference. They identify good people doing great work-on a personal scale-and connect them with donors seeking creative ways to help those in need. Their grantees, primarily in Israel and the United States, are small, grass-roots non-profits run by dedicated individuals unwilling to accept the status quo. With the onset of the war, the needs in Israel have multiplied, and the Good People Fund has responded by stepping up its efforts to help those in Israel who reside “in the corners”, often hidden from view. Their war-related work has focused on the following programs, all of which lend themselves to Mitzvah Projects: 1) Rosa Naveh, a family therapist in Sderot who works with parents and children at risk; 2) Fund for Needy Immigrants founded by Maya Englert, in Beersheva, a particularly hard-hit city where the need for hot meals and counseling are urgent; and 3) Tzvika Levy who supports the chayalim bodedim (lone soldiers) by offering moral and physical support and an occasional barbecue for soldiers guarding the border; and 4) The Amuta for the Emotional Support of Girlfriends and Fiancees of Fallen IDF Soldiers led by Phyllis Heimowitz and her daughter Tamar, who provide therapy and support to the increased number of bereaved girlfriends now resulting from the death of so many soldiers. Should you have any questions about these or other urgent as well as ongoing Good People Fund efforts in Israel, please contact the Executive Director, Naomi Eisenberger, at 973-761-0580.