Our role in post-corona Israel
The number of people living in poverty in Israel is alarming. It was a problem before the Coronavirus, but as the economy slowed—the effects have gotten even worse. And while recovery is well on its way for many, the poorest of the poor will continue to struggle for relief for the foreseeable future.
On 12th April, we met with the social welfare department for the Municipality of Jerusalem. We were shocked at their statistics:
The situation with war and terrorism in our region is similarly heart breaking.
On April 13, we attended the Memorial Remembrance service at the Knesset for the fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks. There we learned of a mother who had a dream at 5:16 AM that her son had been killed and died in battle with the Golani Brigade. Soldiers came to her house later that day to inform her of the tragic news.
I (Barry) had to wipe away the tears from my eyes and face with my face mask. I always forget to bring a tissue. It's only human to weep with those who weep.
My friends, we desperately need to help the suffering in Israel and we need your help to do it. Thanks to your amazing support, the work we do is purpose-driven and directly impacts our brothers and sisters in need. Whether it’s providing meals for poor children in east Jerusalem, or giving comfort to lone soldiers and victims of terror.
Together, we can rebuild Israel and the Middle East. We can make a difference.
Thank you for all you do in supporting our mission.
In His Service,
Barry & Batya
On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the Israeli Declaration of Independence, formally declaring the establishment of the State of Israel. David Ben Gurion was the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and soon to be the first Prime Minister of Israel. He declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, which would come into effect on termination of the British Mandate at midnight that day.
Within a few hours, at midnight, the new state of Israel was facing its first war as an established state. The War of Independence broke.
The first deaths of the war occurred on 30 November 1947 during an ambush of two buses carrying Jews. There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and between each of them and the British forces since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine.
As a result of the war, the State of Israel controlled the area that UN General Assembly Resolution 181 had recommended for the proposed Jewish state, as well as almost 60% of the area of Arab state proposed by the 1947 Partition Plan, including the Jaffa, Lydda, and Ramle areas, the Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel Aviv–Jerusalem road, West Jerusalem, and some territories in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria regions), Transjordan took control of the remainder of the former British mandate, which it annexed, and the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip.
In the three years following the war, about 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel. Around 260,000 Jews moved to Israel from the Arab world during and immediately after the war. They were either fleeing due to rising antisemitism or being expelled.
The official “switch” from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut takes place a few minutes after sundown, with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in which the flag is raised from half-staff (due to Memorial Day) to the top of the pole.
The president of Israel delivers a speech of congratulations, and soldiers representing the Army, Navy, and Air Force parade with their flags. In recent decades this small-scale parade has replaced the large-scale daytime parade, which was the main event during the 1950s and ’60s. The evening parade is followed by a torch lighting (hadlakat masu’ot) ceremony, which marks the country’s achievements in all spheres of life.
Other than the official ceremonies, Israelis celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in a variety of ways. In the cities, the night time festivities may be found on the main streets. Crowds will gather to watch public shows offered for free by the municipalities and the government. Many spend the night dancing Israeli folk dances or singing Israeli songs. During the daytime, thousands of Israeli families go out on hikes and picnics.
Army camps are open for civilians to visit and to display the recent technological achievements of the Israeli Defence Forces. Yom Ha’atzmaut is concluded with the ceremony of granting the “Israel Prize” recognizing individual Israelis for their unique contribution to the country’s culture, science, arts, and humanities.
In closing, friends, we ask that you join us in prayer that God will continue to bless the land and people of Israel, and that He watches over her—particularly in the coming years of conflict.