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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Handy 'To-Do' List

At times like these it is easy to lose sight of the important things and become paralyzed by both the news and the events the news is showing us.

So in the interest of breaking the mental log-jam we all might be experiencing, I have compiled a 'To-Do' list (in no particular order) that can help all of us genuinely make a difference:

If you are in Israel

  • Give blood.  Under normal circumstances the blood supplies are critically low.  Now more than ever you must find time to donate.  Not only will it help save a life, but it will give you and your family 'blood insurance' in case (G-d forbid) the need arises.
  • Open your home.  If you have friends or relatives living in communities that are currently under fire, please don't assume they have plans.  Pick up the phone and invite them for Shabbat... for a few days... for a week.
  • Support businesses.  It may not be this week or even this month... but when things quiet down there are going to be a lot of hotels, restaurants and other small businesses which rely on the tourist industry teetering on the edge of ruin.   This tourist season is essentailly gone.  It will be almost a whole year before the next tourist influx (maybe) has the nerve to venture back here.  Make it your business to  spend your next free weekend  up north.  Eilat isn't going anywhere... take your next vacation in the Golan or Galilee.
  • Buy products made in areas that are under attack.  If you or your business have the choice of purchasing goods or services from companies in areas where the missiles are falling, please don't put it off... they need your business.
  • Support Charitable efforts.  Please don't assume that the Israeli government will be able to step in and make everything right for the communities once the missiles (please G-d) stop falling.  Find well-established, reputable charitable organizations that are doing important work in these communities and give generously.
  • Pray.  I don't care whether you recite the entire book of Psalms, pray the rosary or sit in the Lotus position meditating on regional/world peace.  This is one of those 'it couldn't hurt and might actually help' kinda things.


If you are outside of Israel

  • Come visit.  It may seem counter-intuitive to discuss tourism, but many people outside of Israel forget that this country relies on the tourist industry for more than half its GNP.  I'm not saying you need to book a bed & breakfast in the upper Galilee or Golan (although once things quiet down that is exactly where you should be going).  Just come.  During the the Intifada too many people who claim to support Israel voted with their feet and stayed home.  Don't let it happen again.
  • Support humanitarian and lifesaving organizations such as Magen David Adom, Yad Sarah and Zaka. 
  • Plant a tree.  As far as it may be from your mind at the moment, thousands of acres of Jewish National Fund forests are burning as a result of the hundreds of missiles that have been fired into Israel.  Replanting those areas will cost money.  You know what to do.
  • Do business with Israeli companies.  In the coming days and weeks there will be increased calls for divestment from Israel.  If you or your business have the ability to use goods or services provided by Israeli companies... please do so.  If you want to find out more about this, please contact your nearest Israeli consulate and ask for their assistance in identifying Israeli partners, suppliers and resources.
  • Buy Israel Bonds.  This may sound cliche... like something that our grandparents do... grudgingly.... and only during the annual Kol Nidre Appeal.  But individuals and companies have the ability to help themselves while they help strengthen the State of Israel.  Israel Bonds have never once failed to deliver promised returns and are the cornerstone of many portfolios and pension funds (including my pension fund with Local 802 America Federation of Musicians).  So if you were casting about for the perfect wedding or Bar/Bat mitzvah gift... buy some of these.
  • Keep them honest.  Don't get involved in intractable emotional battles with Israel bashers and anti-Semites.  But DO keep tabs on your local media and take them to task each and every time you see them misreporting historical data or misrepresenting current events.  For best results keep your communications polite, brief and to the point.  Encourage others to be equally vigilant.
  • Educate and inform.  For most of your non-Jewish coworkers and neighbors, the conflict here is as inscrutable as those in Northern Ireland, Sudan and the Basque region of Spain.  Make it your business to stay well informed and take the time to personalize this war for people.  This is not rocket science... although rockets certainly play a role in the conflict.  Keep it simple.  Explain the news and the significance of events as they are happening here.  If you don't do it, their sole source of information will be whatever CNN or the BBC are serving up.
  • Pray.  I don't care whether you recite the entire book of Psalms, pray the rosary or sit in the Lotus position medititing on regional/world peace.  This is one of those 'it couldn't hurt and might actually help' kinda things.

220_31_11

Posted by David Bogner on July 16, 2006 | Permalink

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As everyone is well aware by now, Israel is at war - on two fronts. Jameel at The Muqata has been doing an excellent job of providing up-to-the-minute coverage, and David from Treppinwitz has a great list of ways we all can be helping out, regardless... [Read More]

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Comments

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Today the front lines of the fight for freedom are near you. Thanks for your timely advice in how to help. Best wishes to you and yours from the middle of America.

Posted by: rammer | Jul 16, 2006 2:54:07 AM

These totally make sense. I'll keep your suggestions in mind, especially when explaining what is going on to my non-Jewish friends.

Posted by: Irina | Jul 16, 2006 3:17:32 AM

Makes sense to me.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 16, 2006 3:38:05 AM

Great posts recently by you and your wife. We are thinking about you and share your concerns. Best wishes during this difficult time.

Posted by: Seattle | Jul 16, 2006 4:34:29 AM

thank you for the reminder even though that's been on my mind constantly since last week.

we are praying and hoping and thinking of everyone there.

Posted by: Sarah | Jul 16, 2006 4:39:51 AM

Except for the money part(can't afford it right), I've already been doing most of it. Your reminders hit home. Keep safe and know that congregations across America are praying for you.

Protests against Israel in the USA are being countered by those who support you.

I wish I could do more.

Posted by: seawitch | Jul 16, 2006 5:45:59 AM

Great list. I just linked to this and added PizzaIDF.org and BurgerIDF.org.

Posted by: Elder of Ziyon | Jul 16, 2006 6:03:48 AM

I've been glued to the news regarding Israel all day and every time I see a news report I think of you and your family. These suggestions are wonderful and I am definitely going to put some of them into practice. May G-d protect you and your family.

Posted by: Tracey | Jul 16, 2006 6:51:34 AM

What a great list. (Certainly better than pacing the floor! :/ )

I'd like to mention another charity worth your attention Yad Sarah whose services are completely free to the recipient.

Posted by: jennifer | Jul 16, 2006 7:35:58 AM

Rammer... Actually things are pretty quiet near me (tfu tfu tfu), so I'm as glued to the news as you at the moment. Thus the idea for this list was born.

Irina... Doubly important for people like you because too many university and graduate school-aged students are buying into the pro-Pali propaganda they are hearing and reading on campus.

Jack... That's 'cause I mostly used small words. ;-)

Seattle... Thanks. Much appreciated.

Sarah... Well, now you have stuff to do... so go get busy! :-)

Seawitch... Knowing that you just went through a Hurricane I can understand your need to prioritize your spending. Please keep Israel in your prayers, though.

Elder of Ziyon... Good thought. My only hesitation about causes like those is that, unlike more established charities, they have made no public disclosure of their overhead expenses and how much of the donated money actually benefits the end-user. I'm not saying they are not honest... but if people can only afford to give to one or two charities, it makes sense to donate to organizations that have a proven, documented track record. You'll notice that I didn't even put my own 'spoil soldiers' link on the list because I am equally undocumented in terms of my giving. I know that 100% of the money I collect through my site goes directly to the soldiers in the field... but you have only my word on that. Again... if you are giving in multiple places my word may be enough. But for someone who is giving up Starbucks for a week in order to give a modest donation to one cause... I say give it where you know it will reach the people in need.

Tracey... Thank you. It is nice to have friends thinking good thoughts.

Jennifer... Excellent suggestion. Once Typepad stops doing maintenance on their application I will add it to the list. Hope all is well with you and yours.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 16, 2006 9:52:40 AM

Thanks for the list. I would love to know of blood drives in Jerusalem.

I am going to respectfully disagree with you on Israel Bonds as they increase Israel's debt load and, I believe, the short term gain is offset by the long term loss as bonds fund debt and may be repaid through a raising of taxes or a cut in essential services. This is true with any country's bonds. However, I don't really think it's appropriate to debate this point but it does need to be considered for anyone thinking of purchasing bonds. They are more investment tools than anything else.

Also, I think it is worth adding Israel's firefighters as much land has been destroyed because of the rocket attacks (as you mentioned with JNF) as well as social and psychological services to counsel those up north.

Posted by: amechad | Jul 16, 2006 10:27:57 AM

How do i find where to go to donate blood in Israel?

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Jul 16, 2006 11:02:02 AM

Amechad... go to any hospital and they will take your blood. Barring that, go to kikar zion and there is a blood mobile there almost every day.

Steg... Please see my reply to amechad.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 16, 2006 11:56:59 AM

I wanted to add that at least two organizatons I know of are matching up those in the Merkaz (center of the country) who want to host people from the North but who do not know anyone personally.

Tzohar, the organization of dati leumi rabbis: http://www.tzohar.org.il/tzafon.asp

and

Galei Tzahal: email them at Internet@galatz.co.il.

Even those of us without a direct connection with someone up North have A connection.

Posted by: President, Kippot Srugot for Kadima | Jul 16, 2006 12:28:42 PM

Great Post!

People forget the important things they can do with relative ease.

Also - it is important to counter this brutality with giving and mutual support.

Posted by: Ben-David | Jul 16, 2006 4:49:10 PM

I am not living in Israel, but here in Germany, so I skipped the first part of your list and just started with the "if you are outside israel"-part.

"Come visit", you write. Hmmm. We already have our flight tickets for september. But to be honest, at the moment we think about not coming. There are our parents and grandparents - who had the experience of war in Europe - who urge us not to go. There is that feeling, that things may go totally crazy.

And, last but not least, it feels not right to go for vacation in a country, where at the borders is fighting. Visiting museums, going out for dinner, sunbathing - and some miles away there is something like war?

Would like to here of your opinion(s). If you like, mail me: listen [at] streim.de

But many of the other parts I am already doing, i.e. staying informed and inform others (as you can see on my blog). I am just a little unsure about the bonds-thing ;-).

Greetings,
Andreas

Posted by: Andreas | Jul 16, 2006 6:04:33 PM

Psalm 83 is particularly applicable.

Posted by: psychotoddler | Jul 16, 2006 7:46:36 PM

Thanks for the reminder. I just took care of some of it. Also, can we give money to the pina chama that you have previously mentioned, or are so many soldiers deployed that they don't need it?

Posted by: ball-and-chain | Jul 16, 2006 8:20:05 PM

Andreas - First off.... September is a long time away. The Yom Kippur War, which was considered a devestating war, lasted "only" 20 days. This has been less than half-a-week with Lebanon.

Second, businesses need support and the economy needs tourism so abandoning us only hurts Israel.
Also, this is not WW2. There will not be ground forces in Israel. The moment that happens, Israel will strike harder than you have seen before. Also, modern warfare is different than it was even a decade ago, let alone 60 years ago.

I'm here in Jerusalem. Life goes on. I am going to the mall this week to get something for my cousin. Trep is right 100% when he says "come visit."

Posted by: amechad | Jul 16, 2006 8:58:07 PM

You forgot one thing - rally for Israel! There are rallies in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Gainsville, Florida. Show your support!


RALLY in New York City, NY
Date: Monday, July 17
Time: 12:00 pm Rain or Shine
Venue: First Avenue @ 42nd Street- across from the U.N.
Use the 4-5-6 Subways to Grand Central Station
Phone: 212-983-4800 x142
Email: info@jcrcny.org

RALLY in BOSTON, MA
Date: Tuesday, July 18
Time: 6pm
Venue: Kehillath Israel, 384 Harvard Street, Brookline
Phone: 617-457-8657
http://www.bostonisraelaction.org

RALLY in GAINSVILLE, FL
Date: Wednesday, July 19
Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm
Venue: Turlington Plaza
Phone: 352.514.7744
Email: amgatorschai@yahoo.com

RALLY in Los Angeles, CA
Date: Sunday, July 23
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue:in front of the Federation Building, 6505 Wilshire Blvd.

Posted by: shoko b'sakit | Jul 17, 2006 12:09:34 AM

Any rallies in Seattle or Tacoma area?

Posted by: Lily | Jul 17, 2006 1:39:45 AM

I have long-standing plans to participate in an archaeological dig at Ramat Rahel in August. I have already told the director that only two things will stop me from coming: El Al cancelling flights or the government telling me not to come. Otherwise I will be there and spending thousands of dollars. I'm also encouraging all the other participants (some of whom are getting nervous) to stick to their plans, as I see no realistic increase in danger to that area.

I look forward to being in Israel for three weeks in August, and hope that anyone else reading this who has plans will seriously consider keeping them despite the news. Remember: Israelis are all still living in Israel. Why not you? Why not now?

Posted by: Cato the Elder | Jul 17, 2006 3:49:24 AM

israel right now is in the same spot britain was in 1940 but fear not more and more americans are realising this hopefully soon the yanks will be coming to your aid.

Posted by: jimmytheclaw | Jul 17, 2006 3:53:41 AM

Free people around the world are with you.

Posted by: Still Rolling | Jul 17, 2006 4:27:40 AM

there is also a rally planned for Washington DC on Wednesday,
details at http://shalomdc.org/content_display.html?ArticleID=188039

Posted by: Shifra | Jul 17, 2006 4:35:07 AM

Here is a link to a volunteer portal to online Israeli stores and goods:
Shop in Israel

Posted by: nikita | Jul 17, 2006 5:12:03 AM

I have also heard that local municipalities (e.g. Iriyat Raanana and Iriyat Modiin) are matching up families from the North with potential hosts. Contact your local government if you have room in your house.

Posted by: President, Kippot Srugot for Kadima | Jul 17, 2006 8:56:09 AM

Many communities with boarding high schools are converting the dormitories into guest accommodations for families who wish to escape the tensions of the north. In these cases, sheets, blankets, refreshments, toys, cots, port-a-cribs and the like are being collected. If you want to help call your local moetza or chessed organization to see what is needed in your area.

Remember that kids from these families are likely to feel a bit out of place in the beginning. Sending your kids to invite others to join them for play-dates, video-viewing, snacks, etc. can make the world of difference!

Posted by: zahava | Jul 17, 2006 2:51:44 PM

Yasher Koach to all for wanting to help. Even $10 can help us feed needy families in the Holy City of Tsfat. See our website: www.levuneshama.org for further information. All the money we raise goes to our projects as we are three older women who do this as a chessed project. If you have questions, please let me know. All the best. Rena Cohen, Tsfat

Posted by: Rena Cohen | Jul 17, 2006 5:13:49 PM

Thanks for the tip!

But they wouldn't let me donate.

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Jul 18, 2006 12:08:31 AM

For an ordinary consumer, who does business with Kmart and the grocery store, is there a list of Israeli companies that produce goods sold in the US?

Posted by: Kiwi the Geek | Jul 18, 2006 7:51:01 AM

Ben-David... Agreed 100% (see, I sometimes agree with you!).

Andreas... Sorry to take so long in responding. My advice is to come. Your presence is required here. I am not asking you to put your life in danger or even to take unnecessary risks. Come check into a nice hotel in the center of the country, watch news in the hotel lobby and eat Room service for the duration of your stay if you like. But by not coming you are helping the Arabs place an embargo on Israel's life blood.

Psychotoddler... Thanks.

Ball and Chain... Donations to the Pina Chama are always welcome and important:
Pina Chama
8/2 Rechov Haziporen
Efrat, 90435
ISRAEL

amechad... Thank you for stepping up with an answer while I was unable to respond.

Shoko B'Sakit... Thank you... yes, quite important.

Lily... None that I know of. Sorry.

Cato the Elder... Kol HaKavod. Drop me a note when you arrive... maybe we can do lunch.

Jimmytheclaw... I wouldn't hold my breath. Just as the world sat back in 1982 knowing that eventually Israel would have to sort out the Iraqi nuclear problem... so to, the world is sitting on its hands expecting Israel to face off against this latest threat.

Still Rolling... Good to know. Now if only we could get them to come visit. :-)

Shifra... Thanks for the update.

Nikita... Thanks for adding that.

Zahava... Very important point.

Rena Cohen... Thank you for all the important work you are doing.

Steg... Are you sure you heard them right? Was it hemoglobin or hemo -goblin? :-)

Kiwi the geek... I don't know of one, but Nikita linked to a great portal for Israeli goods above.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 18, 2006 9:34:44 AM

Re: hemo-goblin

ROTFL.

Actually, in high school me and my brother made our own fantasy role-playing game, and decided that there would be a number of different types of goblinoid monster-type things, including the typical "orcs", "goblins", and "hobgoblins"... and then there were also "hemogoblins" who were very small and known for swarming over you and drinking all your blood.

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Jul 18, 2006 7:04:22 PM

I'm praying...hard.

After that, I think I'll go plant a tree. Great list, Trep.

Posted by: Bayou | Jul 20, 2006 2:06:22 AM

Thanks for letting us know what those of us outside of Israel can do. It is difficult to be standing by feeling useless when those I know are facing such danger
as Israelis are today.
Are there any rallies for Israel scheduled in the Washington, DC area?

Here in closing is something that sums up the ties that bind the US & Israel together. It is the last verse of "America" or "My country, tis of thee"

"Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King."

Posted by: David All | Jul 22, 2006 12:43:19 AM

Shalom from Durango, Colorado.

I've been looking through the many blogs from Israel over the past few weeks.

Of course the news gives you some information, but it leaves most of the interesting things out.

I competed in the 1985 Maccabiah and haven't returned since. I hope to in the coming year.

Best

Sam Bridgham

Posted by: Sam Bridgham | Jul 26, 2006 7:40:48 AM

Fuckin israel are the biggest terorist in the world.
FUCK ISRAEL...!!!!
FUCK USA....!!!!
D I E Y O U A L L ! ! !

Posted by: tija | Jan 9, 2009 9:55:04 AM

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