JERUSALEM March 14, 2017 – Continuing in their annual tradition of providing Purim cheer and Mishoach Manot packages for the brave soldiers of the IDF and and fighters of the Israeli Border police, the International Young Israel Movement (IYIM), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) – Brooklyn branch, World Mizrachi and Yashar LaChayal spent a full week distributing 9,000 packages to Israel’s defenders, including hand-deliveries on the two days of Purim in Israel.
The packages were donated by partners, friends and synagogues throughout the world, and reached units from the Egyptian border in the South up to the Lebanese border in the North, throughout Judea and Samaria in central Israel and everywhere in between. A lead donation was made by Mr. Rubin Margulis, President of ZOA – Brooklyn Branch, and by Young Israel synagogues in the US, including major donations bv the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, Young Israel of Forest Hills, and B’nai Israel Ohev Tzedek.
“The soldiers stationed on the Lebanese and Syrian borders were so thankful for the outpouring of appreciation for what they do. Remembering our chayalim on Purim is one great way of showing appreciation for their service,” commented Leon Blankrot, Executive Director of Yashar Lachayal, who oversaw delivery to Northern IDF units.
One of the volunteer distribution days was dedicated to the Israeli Border Police serving the Judea and Samaria region. The units on the bases visited truly represented a cross-section of Israeli society. In attendance were ZOA mission participants from cities across the US, in addition to personnel from all participating organizations. Solly Sacks, Ex-Director General at World Mizrachi, noted that “it was a real privilege being able to give out Mishloach Manot to the Border Police. It gave all of the participants and fighters an incredible sense of unity.”
A successful simultaneous campaign, “10,000 Letters for 10,000 Soldiers,” saw thousands of letters arrive from school children in the US, Canada, Australia and Israel. The letters were attached to the packages of sweets or were hand-delivered by volunteers. Feedback over the years has shown that the letters warm the soldiers’ hearts as much as the treats satisfy their stomachs – and the glowing faces pouring over the hand-written letters and crayon-filled drawings proved no exception this year.
Daniel Meyer, Executive Director of IYIM – Israel Region , noted that IYIM “had the privilege this year as in past years to continue with our partner organizations and worldwide members to bring the joy of Purim to soldiers and fighters stationed away from their families on Purim. These thoughtful – and tasty – reminders that we value their service for the State of Israel gives them strength; the feedback we get from the soldiers in person and in letters following Purim is immense, and makes it all worth it.”