Blessed be G-d

Sometimes it hits me all over again…

A few minutes ago, a rocket scored a direct hit on a large apartment house in Haifa. When the reporter interviewed the police officer about the condition of the people in the building, he answered that there were only two people lightly injured, “blessed be G-d.”

What a country!

My son wrote me this: More than 110,000 residents of northern Israel have fled their homes due to the bombing. The difference between them and the Lebanese refugees is that we don’t think of them as refugees; they are simply guests.

Kibbutz Givat Brenner near Rehovot, for example, is hosting 500 guests from Kibbutz Snir. Last night about 45 youth slept on the floor of the gymnasium. The gymnasium is considered a good place to stay, due to the shower stalls there.

For those concerned about us, you can read about what two communities are doing for our brothers and can give your help, should you choose. Remember, these are only two of the communities that are assisting and they are two small communities. Our people are being housed throughout the center and south of the country:


Not just the date is 24/7 – that’s how the community in Bet Shemesh is responding to the War and its Refugee Crisis.

Phase One – The first few days of this war brought untold numbers of families fleeing the rockets & terror of the North, to their families and friends in Bet Shemesh. One local family has 35 guests in their small apartment; another has 15, in addition to their own family of seven. Hundreds of other apartments in our town now have sundry extra folks who’ve turned up, and are being warmly hosted.

Phase Two – In a remarkable cross-community coordinated program, Bet Shemesh Municipality, together with the Community Centers, Charitable Organisations and many many volunteers, have undertaken a community-based refugee relief program.

Two schools have so far been opened up their doors (Shaalei Torah and Uziel); Shaalei Torah has taken 105 people from Tiveria/Tiberius and Hatzor; Uziel school has 52 people from Naharia; 35 in Nofei Aviv; 9
in Maorot Yeshiva from Naharia; 41 at the Kadosh Family. Total: 233 refugees.

In addition, many of the families who are lodging with their families and friends in Bet Shemesh (Phase One), are now hitting the limits of reasonable hospitality. Both financially and emotionally, too many people in too small a place on zero-budget for who-knows-how-long, is a major stress.

Basic meals have been arranged for all these people. Everyone has a mattress, blanket, access to showers, etc. Summer camps have been initiated for the kids, run by Ariel and Bnei AkivaYouth Groups. The Community Centers are helping with cultural activities and arranging volunteers. A buddy scheme has been set up, matching incoming refugee families with local hosting families (who provide laundry,showers, and social support). The whole community is working on this – 24/7.

Lema’an Achai , together with Deputy Mayor Mr Shalom Lerner, has been mandated to raise and manage the funding of the food and other primary needs of this shell-shocked & transient population. (No Government funds have been made available for this).

The cost is currently $2200/day. And rising.

Current Status: We have many calls each day from towns all over the North of Israel – pleading with us to accept more buses of despairing families, unable to take the constant air raid sirens, exploding rockets, the cramped bomb shelters and fearful, screaming kids.

We want to immediately accept the next 200-300 people into our very hospitable and welcoming town. In order to do this we need more money for food; we need to buy more mattresses, blankets and other basic
items. Total cost will be around $4000/day, plus $10,000 in purchased goods.

Third Phase: We are also developing a solution for when the schools become overloaded. So that we can accommodate 1000 or even more refugees. We’re looking at tent cities and other emergency-relief solutions.

Lema’an Achai, a highly reputable, prize-winning charity in Bet Shemesh, has now established a designated Refugee Relief Fund to meet these emergency needs, with its own subcommittee of experts to oversee, supervise and prioritise allocations.

Please now donate generously to:-

24 Hour Credit Card Service in Israel – +972 (0)2. 99.999.33

US Tax Deductible Donations:
Checks payable to: “US Friends of Lema’an Achai”
Memo line – “Refugee Relief”
PO Box 532, Oceanside, NY 11572-0532

UK Tax Deductible Donations:
Cheques payable to “Jewish Aid Committee”
c/o Refugee Relief Fund – Lema’an Achai,
40/7 Nachal Lachish,
Ramat Beit Shemesh,
99093, Israel.

Canadian Tax Deductible Donations:
Checks payable to: “Shaarei Tefilah Charity Fund” –
Memo Line: Refugee Relief Fund – Lema’an Achai
C/O Murray Shore, 31 Marvill StreetToronto, Ontario, M3H 3L2

Israel Tax Deductible Donations:
Checks Payable to “Lema’an Achai – Refugee Relief Fund”
40/7 Nachal Lachish,
Ramat Beit Shemesh,
99093, Israel.

In the (happy!) event that any funds raised are not required for Refugee Relief, they will be used for other critical charitable services.

Any questions – feel free to call David (+972-2-9997107). 24/7.

Thank you for your generous support.

As a result of the many missiles raining down on the communities in Israel’s North and the evacuation of civilians from that area, we are hosting at this point in Efrat, close to 300 people and we’ll be happy to take more if needed. Our social services in coordination with the municipalities of Karmiel, Moshav Or Haganuz, Moshav Bar Yochai, Tzfat and the Bay area outside Haifa, has coordinated the arrival here of these evacuee families.

The families that have arrived are already in the dormitories of our Educational facilities which have been re-opened despite being closed for the summer vacation. These facilities will service the rooms, provide a dining hall with hot meals, and activities for the children. The Efrat Emergency Medical Center is providing medical attention free of charge. We are opening our hearts to them and trying to give them some minimum relief in the hope that the fighting will soon be successfully over, and they will be able to return home. Many of our
local residents are involved in the logistics, planning, hosting, and opening their homes on a voluntary basis, including our youth.

The Efrat Municipality is funding the food for all these people on our own. The cost of hospitality for a person for a day is $20 for meals and $5 for activities and transportation for the kids.

We ask you at this time of emergency to help us now! Help fund a brother from the North by sponsoring them! You can really help!

Your tax deductible donation can be made out to

`The Efrat Development Foundation'(payee)
EIN 20-2178658 (501 C 3)
for our “Ezra LaTzafon” (Assistance to the North) project, and sent to:
Efrat Development Foundation USA
c/o Mr. Joe Katz,
Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP,
190 Willis Ave, Mineola, NY 10501

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  1. Actually, now its twice as many and we’re told by L’maan Achi that they feel its necessary to plan for 1,000 for the next month, anyhow. Mi camocha c’Yisrael!