Needy Families are Grateful for Your Help
As soon as Purim ends, people start asking each other, "Where are you going to be at the Seder?" Passover eve is a special night full of delicious food and precious family time. Sadly, there are many families in Israel whose financial situation prevents them from purchasing the necessary supplies for the Seder meal and the seven days of the holiday. This year, our team has given gift cards to terror victims, Holocaust survivors, and needy families in our communities so that they can celebrate with dignity. We received a beautiful letter from one recipient who was injured 14 years ago in a rocket attack: "Thanks be to God that you stand by me in this difficult and exhausting time... There is no doubt that you are the engine that moves my heart to love life despite my many difficulties…”
Giving with All Your Heart
Michael* was stabbed by a terrorist 14 times, shaking every aspect of his life. He is now living off a stipend as he struggles with substantial financial difficulties. The deterioration in Michael's state affected his older sons to the point of needing therapy. One son recently reached Bar Mitzvah age (13), and, thanks to the supportive efforts of his family and therapist, he overcame his emotional issues and asked to celebrate like other children his age. Vision for Israel gladly supported the celebration, bringing the family joy. Michael wrote us this beautiful letter:
"I don't know what privilege I had, that G-d kept me alive, and introduced me to special people whose work is just giving and giving and giving with no end: Every holy day helping with purchasing food, every celebration making sure that we have the most perfect event, the most beautiful, giving a substantial financial aid so we don't stay with the past — that we will see there are those who give and help in celebrations and in holy days and help us look to the future. We have gone through very, very difficult years, but we always found support and a listening ear through you... I must say that in the two events that we had, a Bat Mitzvah and Bar Mitzvah, no other organization that I turned to helped me besides Vision for Israel. I have no words. Your giving is with all your heart, without a feeling of charity and pity. You sponsored my wife's studies so that we can advance in life and live in dignity without being dependent on others. There is no one like you in Israel. Thank you so much! May you be blessed in all that you put your hands to!"
*Name has been changed
A Deep Source of Hope
A year ago, Vision for Israel donated supplies to furnish a "smart" classroom at a local high school, where students come from difficult backgrounds and are at risk of dropping out of the school system. Our donation included 10 laptops, one PC, a projector, and a wireless network. Laptops help the students advance significantly since knowledge of computers and technology is essential for success in the modern world. The students also use the equipment to express themselves creatively, exploring photography, editing, graphic design, and more. The school recently wrote to us, “The ‘smart’ class you gave the youth provides them with an opportunity for self-development and academic growth day after day. ... [It] is a deep source of hope, because hope is the line connecting the past and the future through the present.”
Feasting and Joy at the Millennium Centre
This year’s Purim was the first one celebrated at the Millennium Centre. We were overjoyed to host 300 family members of terror victims from all over the country. Early in the morning, the Centre was decked with large inflatables, activity booths, a drumming workshop, clowns, music, food and beverages, all funded by VFI. There were plenty of activities, food, and drinks for everyone to enjoy; even the toddlers enjoyed a play area especially for them. Finally, no Purim is complete without mishloach manot, the traditional Purim bags of treats! “[T]hat they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:22b).
Purim With “OUR HEROES”
One special Purim event this year was for over 270 Holocaust survivors at Jerusalem City Hall. Batya shares, “It was a beautiful, sunny morning, and the flowers were blooming all around. A big table was set with goodies for breakfast. We donated a buffet spread of hot and cold foods and drinks. It was wonderful to meet the survivors face to face. The survivors enjoyed the music so much that they started dancing with joy, and the atmosphere was amazing. The excitement peaked when the mayor of Jerusalem came in to greet the guests, calling them 'our heroes.'”
Healing the Broken-hearted
VFI recently sponsored a “wellness day” for victims of terror attacks at the hot springs of Hamei Ga'ash. The day was a relaxing one, full of rich, good food, followed by a sing-along. The atmosphere was warm, positive, and unified. VFI team members talked to the participants and listened to their sad stories. Some lost children and relatives in terror attacks many years ago, and they’ve carried that pain with them since; some were affected more recently and the wounds in their hearts are still fresh; and some were injured directly and are now going through a long and exhausting rehabilitation process. Nevertheless, their love for life prevails over hatred and terror. “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).