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September 12, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 12, 2014

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 Kudos to JNF donors for help during Operation Prote00'00tt'l0000 Edge During Operation Protective Edge JNF partner LOTEM took hundreds of children with dis- abilities away from southern Israel for trips to quieter and safer places in the north. facilities, shelters and fire sta- tions, and provided trips and field programs to the north for youth and families, the severely disabled, and other residents of the south. "There is nothing more ethical than to help a human being in their greatest time of need and this is even more so for a person who cannot help him or herself," explained Amos Ziv, the founder and director of LOTEM-Making Nature Accessible, now cel- ebrating its 21st year. Within hours of the escala- tion between Gaza and Israel, JNFwas contacted by its part- ners in Israel and received a list of emergency needs and immediately mobilized its resources that included lay leaders and staff, and set the $5 million goal to provide the requested aid and relief to communities across Israel. To date, over 17,000 JNF donors have raised more than $5 mil- lion for the people of Israel. NEW YORK--From the north to the south, the people of Israel are praising Jewish National Fund (JNF) donors for the emergency aid delivered to them during the recent crisis. When Operation Protective Edge went into effect in early July, JNF immediately went to work internally and with numerous partners in Israel to deliver programs, provisions and services for thousands of men, women and children in "Once again JNF-USA is in touch with the needs of our people," said Michal Shiloah Galnoor, executive director of Western Galilee Now. "We began with three daily tours from Beer Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon and because the buses were fully booked, JNF-USA encouraged us to organize more tours. When we met the families, learned about their anxiety, and saw the children run and play outside after long days of con- finement to the shelters, you could see the parents relax as they spent good quality time with their families. They were ever so grateful and itwas very moving." Kinneret Bargil, head of the education department in the Bedouin village of Segev Sha- lom, commented, "You made my day! It is so important that these kids know somebody cares about them. You don't understand how it feels to have someone who cares and gives with a full heart." Working with its global partners, JNF placed more than 200 fortified bomb shelters in Negev communi- ties that border Gaza. Many residents in the new com- munities of Halutza, Neve, Givot Bar and other towns reside in temporary homes that do not have bomb shel- ters. The mobile shelters JNF delivered hold about 10 people comfortably and cost donors $30,000 each. Rabbi Eli Adler of Halutza, a town in the Negev Desert di- rectly on the Gaza border that is regularly struck by Hamas rockets, remarked, "A shelter is more than concrete. It's an emotional Iron Dome that creates a sense of security. We can't say thank you enough to our JNF friends who stood beside us so quickly and with the shelters they provided brought some peace to our families and children." In Sderot, a southern city within a mile of Gaza, also frequently targeted by rocket attacks, JNF's secure Indoor Recreation Center was kept open 24 hours a day to service thousands of civilians and military forces in the area. "This center has proven to be our lifeline," said Alon Davidi, mayor of Sderot. "I don't know what we would do without it." JNF donors also purchased five brand new Saar fire trucks for Israeli firefighters who have been working around the clock extinguishing fires caused by rockets assaults. "You have no idea what it meant for us to know we were thought of during this grueling time," said Shiko Bar Dov, deputy commissioner of Israel's Fire and Rescue ser- vices. "It's inspiring to see the commitment, friendship and solidarity of the community in the US and JNF and the land of Israel. Thank you for your partnership with the fire and rescue services in saving lives." Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI), a JNF partner and the only plu- ralist, non-denominational, fully accredited international study abroad program in Is- rael for high school students, welcomed 150Americanteens between June and late July to spend their summer study- ing and exploring the land of Israel. At the Hod Hasharon campus students quickly learned how to calmly make their way to bomb shelters when sirens sounded and the staff showed compassion and sensitivity to the needs of the students. Linda Henriquez, an AMH- SI parent shared her thoughts: "I want you to know that just receiving updates from you helped so much. I am im- pressed with Alexander Muss High School in Israel after this summer in a new way .... A piece of Ben was left behind in Israel and he is a different young man. He is wiser and older in so many ways. Thank you for taking care of my son." "We failed--Daniel died right before our eyes. Why are you silent?' The following letter was written by the mother of Dan- iei Tregerman, the 4-year-old killed by mortar shell fired from Gaza, to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. She gave permission for the letter to be publicized so that oth- ers would know the complete story of what happened and what the past was like between Gazan civilians and Israelis who live in nearby kibbutzim. Dear Sir, My name is Gila, I am an Israeli citizen, and I am a resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, near the border with Gaza. A week ago, we lost our elder son, Daniel 4.5 yrs old, which was killed by a mortar shell, fired from Gaza into Israel deliberately. I address you after your announcement to Prime Min- ister Benjamin Netanyahu, to establish an international investigation Committee to investigate "Israel's crime" in the recent fighting in Gaza. About us: Doron and I were married five years ago and we have three amazing kids: Daniel 4.5 yrs, Yoval 3.5 yrs and Uri 4 months old. We were a happy family. We lived in Kibbutz Nahal Oz near Gaza, and found ourselves constantly debating whether not to abandon Nahal Oz and move to another location, quieter, safer, far from rocket fire from Gaza, and far away from the alarms. Then came the threat of terrorist tunnels, which Hamas members dug from Gaza to Israel under our home to hurt us. At night we heard noises and voices dig- ging beneath us. Thus, in the last six months our children slept with the window closed and locked. We were afraid that they will be kidnapped from us. Can you imagine our life, Mr. Secretary-General? How do you live in constant fear of mortar shell and terrorists emerging from tunnels? Then, last Friday, Daniel was killed. All the precautions thatwe have taken have failed. Daniel, 4.5 yrs old, was killed in our house, while playing with Yoval in a tent built in- doors and not outside, because it's dangerous. He was killed from a mortar shell that was shot by terrorists from Gaza, he died in our hands. Daniel Information 866.74,.6655 www. www MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND MOST COMMERCIAL INSURANCES ACCEPTED 5019096 Daniel Tregerman, 4, was killed by a mortar shell fired by Hamas directly into his home at Nahal Oz. died in front of his little sister and his best friend Yoval, 3.5 years old; he died in front of Uri, only four months old and right before our eyes, his mother and father. We failed. We couldn't pro- tect our beautiful and talented baby. Daniel was killed from a mortar shell that was fired by Hamas members from an elementary school for boys in Gaza City. It wasn't a stray shell. It wasn't accidental death. From that school ter- rorists fired deliberately to the kibbutz to murder civil- ians--children, women, old people. This time they also achieved the goal. Daniel was killed almost immedi ately. Daniel's father, Doron, covered him with a blanket while crying bitterly and we escaped from home with two small children, leaving our precious son behind, in order to protect them from bomb- ings that continued to explode around the house. Yoval, Daniel's sister saw the terrify- ing sight and understood that something terrible happened. It is unbearable to watch that little child staring at the wall, in overwhelming silence with teardrops from her eyes. This week, while the "shiv'ah"(Jewish ritual of mourning) at Doron's par-