Received the email below from Lema’an Achai’s David Morris;
Here in Israel, innocent sounding measurements of distance, have turned into death threats.
- One killermeter (km) is the distance/range from a Hamas Sniper in the Gaza strip, firing at the Israeli farmer working in the fields of
Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
- 2 km is from the Hamas mortars (“Patzmarim”) to Israeli families in the town of Sderot (time of flight/warning to take cover: 15 seconds).
- 8 km is from the Hamas rocket launchers (“Kassamim”) to the 110,000 battered residents of the City of Ashkelon
- 20 km is from the Hamas missile launchers (“Ketushas”) to the Town of Kiryat Malachi
- 40 km is from the Hamas enhanced missiles (“Gradim”) to the bunkered-down towns of Ashdod, Beersheba and Kiryat Gat (one minute warning, to take cover or be blown up)
- 44 km is where a “Grad’ Missile has to reach, to hit my home, the kids’ school, our shul – to hit me at this desk, here in Bet Shemesh.
My home is located a half-liter of rocket-fuel away from the bombed
out sites throughout the South of Israel.
It puts our community in the position of being close enough to be
fearful that “we’re next”, while giving us the tremendous opportunity
to bring help to our brothers and sisters now under missile-fire, who
are living in bomb shelters, or risking their very lives to go out to
get a bottle of milk….just a five minute drive from us.
The Bet Shemesh community has therefore now initiated a grass-roots
“War Relief Program” to:
- a. bring practical immediate help to those who need it;
b. to bring those families who need to leave the war zone, to take
refuge in Bet Shemesh; and
c. to prepare for the “we’re next” scenario.
This program is in partnership with the Bet Shemesh Municipality,
various well-established non-profit organizations, such as Lema’an Achai, Amutat Kehilla, Shaalei Torah, Ezrat Achim, Bat Ami, and many many good hearted individual volunteers, who are putting their own lives on-hold, to help our fellows in danger and distress.
This is the same cross-community team who joined together during the
2nd Lebanon War in 2007, in an amazing & unique program which hosted
over 1000 Refugees from the North of Israel for 30 Days, in Bet
Shemesh schools, community centers, sports halls and in private
homes. Dubbed “City of Refuge”, that program was highlighted in the
Ben Gurion University Non-Profit Sector Report, for special accolade,
and was awarded the Bet Shemesh Mayor’s Prize for 2007/8.
The programs now being delivered include:
- 1. Delivering practical objects to families in bomb shelters:
mattresses, blanket, food, heaters, TV’s & Radios, toys, books…
2. Helping families & institutions in Bet Shemesh to host families
from the South (eg. extra food, for extra mouths).
3. Educational & emotional relief programs for the kids (schools
throughout the South of Israel are now closed down by law).
4. Crafts & Trades Fair: a nationally publicised event, for small
businesses which have been closed down due to the war, to exhibit and sell their wares and services.
In preparation, is a large scale “City of Refuge” program, with the
initial objective of Bet Shemesh again hosting 1000 refugees, should
this be needed.
And, G-d forbid, preparations for the unthinkable situation that we
in Bet Shemesh will turn from being helpers, to ourselves being
victims of missile attack.
All Bet Shemesh “War Relief” programs are being funded via an
exclusive fund established for this purpose, “The War Relief Fund”,
under the management of Lema’an Achai.
This follows the model Lema’an Achai successfully developed for both
the 2nd Lebanon War “City of Refuge” program, and for the 2006-8 Gush
Katif Evacuees Relief Fund – probably the two most successful
Emergency Relief programs in Israel’s recent history.
Lema’an Achai is a community organization, without big-time fundraising budgets. The cheapest, fastest and most effective way for us to raise the money we need right now and for the duration of this
war, is for you to send this email on (only! please do not spam!) to
your friends and relatives, your community/shul list, and other
individuals and organizations who may be willing to donate & support
this zero-waste, grass-roots, immediate, practical War Relief program.
And (most important!) please add you own personal recommendations and
verification (ie. “this is For Real!”) at the very top of the email.
Online Donations: www.israelwar.org
USA Tax Deductible: “US Friends of Lema’an Achai”, PO Box 532,
Oceanside, NY 11572-0532, USA.
UK Tax Deductible: “British Friends of Lema’an Achai”, c/o Nava
Kestenbaum, 96 Rigby Street, Salford, Manchester, M7 4BQ, ENGLAND.
Canadian Tax Deductible: “Shaarei Tefilla Charity Fund”, C/O Murray
Shore, 31 Marvill Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 3L2, CANADA.
Israel Tax Deductible: “Lema’an Achai”, The Lema’an Achai Center,
40/7 Nahal Lachish, Ramat Bet Shemesh, 99093, Israel.
By Phone 24/6 Donations Hotline (Hebrew): 02 99.999.33
For local residents to volunteer their time, their hospitality or to
offer objects for families in the South, please call the Hotline: 02
9999822 (Ezrat Achim)
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free
to contact me directly.
Besorot tovot – we should hear good news.
David & Avrohom
Bet Shemesh – 45 Killer-Meters from Hamas
SMALL PRINT: In the happy event that the war finishes, and any funds remain, they will solely be used for helping families in need.
David Morris, Chairman
Rav Avrohom Leventhal, Executive Director
Lema’an Achai – It’s All About Caring