As Operation Protective Edge continues in response to Hamas’ attacks, some of you have been asking: What can I do to help from overseas? We’ve collected a few ideas for you, with some help from chevre, though this list is by no means exhaustive and we would love to hear more of your ideas too.
1. The Shmira Project was started by Livnot chevre. The Hebrew word shmira (pronounced shmee-rah) means “guarding” or “protecting”. In modern Hebrew, shmira also means guard duty. The Shmira Project is an ongoing, grassroots program that pairs IDF combat soldiers with Jews around the world who do acts of kindness, prayer or Torah learning to increase the soldier’s spiritual merit and protection.
2. Write an email or Facebook message to friends and family in Israel to let them know that you’re thinking of them, praying or sending positive energy. This encouragement can really help brighten someone’s day.
3. Become a warrior in the social media battle. Follow the pages of the Israel Defense Forces, your local Jewish Federation, the Jewish Agency, etc. for updates on the conflict. Share pictures and videos and speak up on behalf of Israel’s right to defend its citizens, Arab and Jew alike, from terrorism.
4. If you’re looking for a worthy cause to donate to: (A) The Jewish National Fund is installing mobile bomb shelters in the new desert community of Halutza. They also provide summer camp programs, taking children from the south for a quiet retreat to the north, and create indoor sheltered play areas for the areas under constant fire. (B) The Jewish Federations of North America raise funds to provide care for home-bound elderly and disabled adults during this time of terror, and crisis counseling for Israelis who are overwhelmed by anxiety, among other services. Find your local branch here. (C) Livnot U’Lehibanot is hosting past chevre from the south and participants from other Israel experience programs who are in need of relief.
5. The situation is serious, but sometimes you need to break the tension with a bit of humor. Check out Benji Lovitt’s posts on the Times of Israel whenever it all feels too heavy to handle.
What else can we add to this list? Please let us know in the comments’ section below: