If you donated money this last summer for the Israel Emergency Campaign – this update is for you. You not only allowed us to support our partners on the ground with life-saving programs for psychological trauma care, respite care, and relief for the most vulnerable facing rocket attacks. You also allowed us to do some amazing work with our partners on the ground. More bomb shelters were renovated, more security was provided. More hope was given.
And the other week, we did more. Because of you.
For some years now, we’ve had a deep and meaningful partnership with Kibbutz Erez, in the northern Negev facing the Gaza Strip border. The Kibbutz has been a target of a lot of infiltration attacks by terrorists and hundreds of rockets have fallen nearby. During Protective Edge, a terror tunnel (see the photo at right) was discovered right next to the Kibbutz. Imagine the evil atrocity that would have taken place had the terrorists come into the Kibbutz and carried out their plan for a mass terror attack against civilians. That was their plan.
Donors and families from Greater MetroWest have refurbished bomb shelters and renovated children's areas with safety reinforcements.
We’ve donated generators and an intensive care ambulance. The Murnick family has built a beautiful library on the Kibbutz.
And Greater MetroWest families have seen Erez as a second home.
Our ties are deep and meaningful there. Our connection there started on 9/11, when a major delegation from our federation led by Senator Frank Lautenberg z”l came to show support for victims of terror attacks. But our people were the ones comforted by the Kibbutz members as they watched the awful events unfold in New York together.
So the opportunity to do more, especially in Erez’s time of trouble, is a great one. It’s a privilege.
A special joint task force chaired by David Lentz and Ronie Levine, from our federation and Erez, looked at the Kibbutz’s biggest security needs and brought their conclusions to our federation’s leadership. So I’m proud to tell you that we’re going to help Erez build a protected dining room, as a joint project with the Kibbutz. The protected dining room is going to provide a large safe space for families. They need it – they need a strong, safe, and attractive place to come together as a community.
It’s our job to help them. This dining room is going to be an amazing, warm, welcoming place. And we’ll go and visit when it’s built.