I would like to share with you information about the work of the Masorti/Conservative movement that is in need of our generous financial support as they struggle to care for the citizens of Israel under fire. I have also provided information below on two other organizations doing vital work in Israel right now.
I. The Masorti/Conservative Movement
This is our sister movement in Israel. Please do not consider funds directed to Masorti to be "partisan" funding. As you will see in the following paragraphs, our Israeli counterparts are stepping up in this crisis to take care of "our own" and to take care of anyone else who is in need:
A. If any parents of USY, Ramah, or any other youth groups here in Israel for the summer, want their kids to meet with one of our rabbis- they will make this happen.
B. Several shuls, Gilo, Eilat, Zichron (which may soon be too far north) Omer, Maayanot, Herzaliya, Beit HaKerem/Jerusalem, Schechter, are offering home hospitality to displaced families in need.
C. They would like to have our congregations send a Siddur to each soldier serving in the IDF from the shul.
D. They would like to quickly print up a booklet with prayers for the captives, injured, and those in battle. These would be widely distributed.
E. Rabbi Simcha Roth is working on a booklet for people to hold family Shabbat davening at home (people are being advised in many areas to stay in their homes or in shelters).
F. If this becomes a prolonged situation- they may buy toys, and furnishings for the shelters by our shuls.
G. They are ready to absorb more children into the RAMAH/NOAM sleep away camp if more scholarship money is available. This holds true for congregational day camps as well.
H. Rabbi Ervin Birnbaum just phoned me to ask that I get out the word that his Shearim program in Netanya (programming for Russian Olim) is prepared to absorb up to twenty children (ages 3-8), whose families have left their homes up north, into his summer camp, as soon as Tuesday. He is NOT asking the families of these children to pay, but he will need extra budgeting for staff, food and materials for these children.
I. Kehilat Tzedek, our joint social action project with the Reform Movement, is offering spiritual rabbinic counselling to those in need.
J. They are expanding Masorti's own Center for Spiritual Counseling as needed by setting up an 800 number that will provide counselling in Hebrew,Spanish, Russian,and English.
For those who ask about the role of the Masorti Movement in Israeli society-this is part of the answer.
All funds raised should be sent to the Masorti Foundation, 475 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10115, ph. 212-879-2218, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Note these are for "emergency relief." The Foundation will transmit these to the Masorti movement for distribution to relief efforts throughout Israel. You can also log onto www.masorti.org and click on the words "make a contribution" on the gray bar on the top of the home page.
II. Support Israel's Soldiers
Israel's soldiers need to know that we all stand behind them. You can express your support by donating to Friends of the IDF, http://www.israelsoldiers.org or FIDF, 154 Wells Avenue, Newton , MA 02459, 617-559-3600
III. Magen David Adom (MDA)MDA is the Israel Government mandated emergency and blood services. 95% of all ambulance services, 100% 0f IDF Blood service, 97% of all blood services are provided by MDA as an unfunded government mandated operation. They are running emergency blood drives and crash courses for MDA volunteers. Go to www.afmda.org or American Friends of Magen David Adom-ARMDI, 888 Seventh Avenue, Suite 403, New York, NY 10106 , 866-632-2763
This info was prepared by Rabbi Amy Levin of Torat Yisrael Congregation in RI.