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February 28, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 28, 2003

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FEBRUARY 28, 2003 PAGE 13 Pomerance (JTA)--Phillip calls it his "hot war" one week, he has erican Jews time of need. 75-year old New is recruiting volun- I if an Ameri- with Iraq brings an the Jewish state. aks out and lg with Israel or form, s wi 11 prob- : on the first plane we Israel," Miller said. liswill probably need lelp as they can get, do our part to help photo by Penn Hillel American volunteers from the Hillei at the University of Pennsylvania are among those assembling gas masks in this factory in Israel. The students came during their winter break at the end of 2002. and purpose like creatingan- any doctors, the group is orga- lcanwar on tibodies, nizingits paperwork to be pre- inent, some The groupencouragessoli- pared for when they are a repeat darity missions in Israel to needed. of America's donate blood to Magen David In the last four months, it alfWarwithIraq, when Adom, insomecasesshuttling has directed more than 100 lobbedScud bloodmobiles to groups' ho- American doctors to Israel for into the thick of Tel tels. weeklong trainings with the It has also brokered a deal Ministry of Health. Israel abided by with the American Red Cross Phone calls have increased ttostrike to enableAmericanstodesig- from five per day over the nate donated blood for Israel. course of the intifada to 10 to Prime Minister The Red Cross will credit the 15 per day in the last few hasstated Israel amount for future use by months, Samulevich said. But round Magen David Adorn. she added that the group is down. And this week, the Ameri- "fueling that fire" by publiciz- case, many Ameri-cangroupwasmailing400,000 ing its Emergency Medical icanJewish letters to its contributors, ask- Volunteers program to other are responding ing for funds in case of war: Jewish agencies and with ar- of a U.S war on "As the imminent threat of ticles in the Jewish Medical 'trying to fortify Israel. war with Iraq looms just over Journal. toringup the horizon," the letter be- Duringthelastfewmonths,- supply, ready- gins, "the people of Israel will the U.S.-based Volunteers for rsandas- be caught in the middle ofthe Israel has also seen an in- masks, battle."At the American Phy- creaseddemandbyAmericans past few weeks, sicians Fellowship for Medi- eager toassist Israel incrisis. Red Magen David cine in Israel, each time the Atop its regular two- or the U.S. organiza- government or media broad- three-week stints for volun- Magen David casts a message of war, "our teers to aid army bases or hos- rael's equivalent of phones don't stop ringing," pitals, the group, known as has stepped up said Barbara Samulevich, the Sar-El in Israel, has added a group's executive director, special one-week program to its efforts it has The group, which runs aassemble gas masks. security at programforAmericandoctors "JustasduringtheGulfWar, banks, fearing to cover for Israeli civilian thenumberofvolunteerswho ;trained doctorswhoarecalledformili- went through us increased, so and bought tary duty, has a registry of 800 now we are getting a lot of and pur- physicians. Several of them, volunteers who are anxious to for collect- Samulevich said, are con- go to Israel to help out be- and freezers for stantly calling the group to cause they know they're with 12 ensure their documents have needed now," said Jeanne nes to extract and been received and approved. Schacter, the national presi- parts to func- While Israel's Ministry of dent of Volunteers for Israel. than one patient Health has not yet called for Not everyone, of course, feels comfortable going to Is- rael if war with Iraq occurs. The threat of war "raises a level of concern, and it's an- other consideration," said Ber- nard Shapiro, 53, a disability attorney in Stamford, Conn. Shapiro has hoped to re- turn to volunteer for Israel since his first participation in Volunteers for Israel in June 2002. He knows the likelihood of being hit by a Scud missile is slim. Still, Shapiro says he worries about his responsibil- ity to his two children and wonders if "perhaps there is some more useful thing I can do on this side of the ocean." But for David Rendsburg, 20, volunteering in Israel with 24 other students from the Uni- versity of Pennsylvania on his winter break was laden with meaning. The group labored in aware- house with stacks of thousands of gas masks to be assembled. They prepared an estimated more than a thousand a day, "so you can see the progress you're making," said Rendsburg, who helped coor- dinate the trip. "We felt that our presence there was needed in order to prepare the country." Aviva Weinberg, 19, who also helped organize the trip, felt inspired by the "incredible fortitude and optimism" of the Israelis she met. They're "fighting for their country and we're here study- ing in university. It's a rather easy ivory tower erdstence,"said Weinberg, who said the trip motivated her to further her activism on campus and "help people find their own form of Zionism for themselves." For Miller, the prospect of war is a reductive equation. "I feel that if a friend of mine got into trouble, I would certainly try to help him, and Israel is our friend and I'm trying to help," he said, choked-up with emotion. Furthermore, Miller said, the country is a cornerstone of Jewish identity. "If we don't have an Israel," he asked,'%vhat sense does it make?" Cool Weather FREI puter DeSsslgl * Cabinets Reconditioned Cabinet Refacing New Custom Cabinets Call Dave or Margo . 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