What can South Africans do for Israel?
Hundreds of thousands have been displaced in Israel, many are dead and injured, and South Africans wonder how we can help.
The SA Jewish Report has the following suggestions:
WIZO (the Women’s International Zionist Organisation) South Africa has set up an emergency fundraising campaign to send funds to Israel for the continued operation of its projects. WIZO South Africa has four centres countrywide – in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Gqeberha. Substantial funds have already been sent to Israel. WIZO has opened day care centres in hospitals in Israel so that medical professionals can leave their children there while they work. WIZO Youth Villages have taken in refugees, and emergency centres have been opened. Funds raised by WIZO South Africa will assist these projects.
WIZO Durban has assisted Durban-Israel Victims Of Terror Enterprises (DIVOTE) in packing care packages to send to Israel. And WIZO South Africa members countrywide are involved in a campaign to knit black beanies for soldiers in Israel.
To get involved, call +27 21 464 6700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Elsabe Booyens helped start another campaign to knit for Israel in collaboration with the South African Zionist Federation and South African Friends of Israel (SAFI). She had the pattern for an Israel Defense Forces-approved beanie, so she began knitting and spreading the word to anyone who could help. The Knit for Israel Project is a non-profit initiative that aims to provide warm beanies to those serving in Israel.
Knitters of all skill levels are welcome to share their talents with others. You can knit from home, join a local group, or start your own. Knit for Israel will provide the patterns, wool, and instructions how to drop off your items. You can also donate money or materials to support the cause. By knitting for Israel, you are creating something beautiful, as well as making a difference in someone’s life.
To join the Knit for Israel Project, call SAFI on +27 11 645 2607, or email email@example.com or Elsabe on +27 76 406 2001. The pattern is available at https://israelsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Knit-for-Israel.pdf
So far, Knit for Israel has collected more than 170 beanies from the Chevrah Kadisha, and its community of knitters is growing.
Partners in Protection, an initiative created by the organisation Just One Thing, allows you to commit to 10 minutes of Torah learning a week in the merit of a soldier. The organisation believes that learning just 10 minutes a week can have a spiritual impact. Choose your schedule, pick a time that suits you, and the organisation will adapt to your availability. You’ll be paired with an Israeli soldier on the frontline “whose background, interests, and perspectives resonate with your own”, the organisation says. “With each session, you’ll discover commonalities, deepen discussions, and forge a lasting relationship built on mutual respect and shared heritage.” To get involved, visit https://www.sharejustonething.com/pit
Candles4Israel is an initiative started by three Cape Town women, Karen Marsden, Carine Glass, and Leora Hassen, on 13 October, when Glass invited a group of moms from the shul to light candles with her. The initiative grew so quickly, in a week they were asked to host a big candle lighting session for which 400 women registered.
“We were lucky enough to have the Sefardi shul hall sponsor an event where more than 350 women came together to light Shabbat candles,” said Glass. Following the success of this event, the women were asked if communities around the world could join the initiative.
“Carine has made it possible for people to implement this initiative in their own homes and communities,” said Hassen. “We had a large community of candle lighting last week in which we had women from London, Canada, New York, Australia, Johannesburg, and Cape Town join in.”
Candles4Israel has also been selling wristbands saying “Light for Israel”, through which it has raised more than R50 000 for local and international charities.
To get involved, follow the Instagram page @candles4Israel, or email firstname.lastname@example.org