Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Can YOU Do?

We can't all be soldiers, but that doesn't mean we can't all help out in some way - here's a list of things that YOU can do to make a difference right now.

(I'll keep updating - If you know of anything, send me an email at
Sign up to receive a soldiers name to pray for

Volunteer in the South with Lev Echad
Email or call 072-2507714 for more information.

Recycling for the South!
Instead of throwing away used bottles, donate the money to residents of the south. Contact Divora Sarafraz for more details and to drop off your bottles - 058-4666006

Donating clothes, food, and toys to citizens down south.
Jerusalem contact:
Tel Aviv contact:

Bring food for Shabbat to Ashkelon this Friday!
For more details, email
Send a Chayal pizza or donuts - little things go a long way when you're stationed out near Gaza.

LEVDAROM is organizing a great weekend for families with children in Hod Hasharon. It will start tomorrow till Sunday. They are looking for 5 more volunteers. You will sleep there, eat with them, entertain them and play with the kids. Message Nofar Sharabani on Facebook if you are willing to come and help out.

Organizing/connecting families from the South that need a place for Shabbat with hosts who live out of missile range. Email or call 02-999-0000

A call for people willing to do some agricultural work down south over the next couple of days before all the crops are lost. Please get in touch, as soon as possible with Hadas 0542696706. If a big enough group can do it they will provide a הסעה. In any case there will be food and a place to sleep for those who can stick around for a couple of days.

NU CAMPAIGN - Do you want to get ACTIVE for Israel?? We are launching a global t-shirt campaign in support for Israel, in light of the ongoing war, and are looking for people to get involved! For more details contact

DONATE In the Tel Aviv area: Collecting food, money, toys, shampoo - anything that you have to offer for families in Sderot, Ashdod and Ashkelon. For more information, contact Guilia at 0532221599

DONATE HERE Visit to donate - in the past few days they have been concentrating on bringing much needed winter necessities and toiletries to the troops. They also have a mobile cell phone charging station for the troops to charge their phones and be in touch with loved ones.

We can help support both businesses in Israel's south and boost the morale of the citizens taking the brunt of Hamas's missiles by ordering pizzas from local southern vendors to be delivered to families and soldiers in the region. The following pizza stores are willing to take your orders and deliver them to families.

Pizzerias in the sourth (feel free to look up your own online) -- most recently added pizzerias are at the top of the list:

1) Pizza Kopidon in Ofakim - 011-972-8-992-1114 (Shlomi)

2) Pizza shel Efrayim in Ashkelon - 011-972-8-684-2068 (Moran)

3) Pizza in Sderot - 011-972-8-661-2007

4) Pizza Roma in Ashdod - 011-972-8-866-7000

5) Pizza Netivot - 011-972-8-993-0145

"After one delivery earlier today, the owner of Pizza Roma in Ashdod called me back to say: He decided to deliver the pie to a family who he thought needed it -- the mother was a teacher in the school that was hit by a rocket. After he delivered the pizza and the family was so uplifted to know that someone in America had thought to order them pizza, he himself decided to send a pizza to a different random family. As the mishna in Avot says "מצוה גוררת מצוה" - 'one mitzvah leads to another.'

In order to gauge the impact and decide about adding vendors, please drop me a line about your orders just noting from which pizzeria an order was placed (

Feel free to pass this far and wide. The Jews may be dispersed, but we stand together.

With hope for a lasting quiet soon."

All you need to do is:

1) Call one of the vendors below and place an order (you'll need a calling card or a friend who has one) and say:

"I am calling from the United States and would like to order a pizza to be delivered to a family in the area as a sign that we are thinking of you. Can I place an order?"

"אני מתקשר מארצות הברית ורוצה להזמין פיצה למשפחה באזור שלך כסימן שאנחנו חושבים עליכם. האם אפשר להזמין?"

2) Tell them that people in American are standing with them

3) Provide your credit card information (credit card number מספר אשראי and expiration date (תוקף).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My First War

It's funny when you think about it, that last week you were annoyed because New Girl wouldn't load, and today you're wondering if Hamas is launching rockets in your vicinity and whether you should shower now or wait until after there's a siren.

Everyone has their place, in this war. The soldiers get called up to battle, the citizens of the South continue to stand strong, and the students - we protest, we blog, we tweet, we pray, we do what we can.

It's hard to know what to feel right now.

It's hard because half of you is screaming that people are dying and rockets are falling and buildings are on fire and just because we can't see the children running to bomb shelters doesn't mean that they're not. And the other half is saying that we, the students, we fight by going to university, by continuing with our schedules, that we fight by living and by not being afraid. We gathered on campus today and sang Israeli songs and waved Israeli flags and the whole time you're wondering if this is making any difference. And there is not a moment when you're not on full alert for that siren, for the noise that you can feel with every inch of your body.

At home and in class, you just keep refreshing the Muqata, and Al Jazeera, and Ynet, and Times of Israel, and the rockets just keep on coming and the fake pictures keep circulating and you don't know why but you think that if the world just knew that the child covered in blood is Israeli and not from Gaza, everything would be over and maybe peace would come.

And then there's a lull, or maybe you just turned off the news because you needed a break from updates and sirens and suddenly there's a video of IDF soldiers singing Ani Ma'amin, I believe, and you smile because you're so proud to live here. And then there's a funny status about the rockets, and a ridiculous song about Hamas and it's all so silly because we're in the middle of a WAR, and then a soldier dies and everything stops being silly because he was 18 and you saw his picture and he could have been your friend.

My mom calls and asks if I'm okay and I assure her that yes, I'm far away from all the rockets but I'm making it up because the truth is I have no idea where the next one will fall. And I feel such a rush of pride every time I see one of the students on my program, who came for a year of the "Israel Experience" and are getting more then what they bargained for, write a status with the words Am Yisrael Chai - the nation of Israel lives on.

My heart hurts for the children who have grown up with the siren as a soundtrack to their birthday parties, for the soldiers who are risking their lives on the border of Gaza right now.

Israelis tell me that they don’t feel all of the things that I feel, and maybe its because this is my first war. Maybe. And I can already feel that mixed feeling of guilt and pride and fear ebbing away slowly as each day passes. I hope that I don't become callous. I hope that I stay tuned in to Galgalatz and listen for each siren because I want to stay connected to those down south who can't choose to turn it off.

Meanwhile, the world goes on. The Lions lost the football game, I watched Glee and walked home from school. The truth is that I'm pretty calm. Calmer then I thought I would be. Everything will be alright, because Hashem is protecting us.

Yoni Netanyahu said it best:

"...I would rather opt for living here in continual battle than for becoming part of the wandering Jewish people. As I don't intend to tell my grandchildren about the Jewish State in the twentieth century as a mere brief and transient episode in thousands of years of wandering, I intend to hold on here with all my might."

For a list of ways you can help out, check here: