August 9, 2018
Dear Friend of Israel,
I returned to Israel from a visit to the U.S. hoping to enjoy a week’s vacation. Instead, I found a country under fire — and possibly teetering on the brink of war.
This week, Hamas drastically escalated hostilities, firing more than 180 rockets and mortars into Israel. One, a long-range Grad rocket, reached as far as Be’er Sheva, 30 miles from Gaza. While cities close to the Gaza border are, sadly, used to this, it was the first time rocket sirens have sounded in this southern Israel city since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.
Sharp escalation of attacks followed by periods of relative calm take a heavy toll. Israelis live in constant uncertainty, never knowing when rocket fire will start, praying that they will have enough time to reach a bomb shelter when it does. It is especially heartbreaking to think of children living in this situation. As one nine-year-old in southern Israel said to her mother, “Mommy, my heart is small and my fear is huge. My heart can’t contain it. I can’t go on anymore.”
But they will go on. Israelis are tough, and live on faith. And thanks to your continued love and support The Fellowship is there, as we always have been in times of war and crisis, delivering lifesaving and life-sustaining aid.
Today, more than 3,000 Fellowship volunteers are reaching out to Israelis in the line of fire, including some of the most vulnerable people — immigrants, elderly, and children. We’re working to renovate bomb shelters, so that Israelis have places to take refuge that are both safe and comfortable. We’re providing essentials like food, water, diapers, visits to the homebound and elderly…and so much more.
All of this is possible because of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my friends, for acting as “watchmen on the walls” for Israel in her time of need. Please continue to pray for safety and protection for Israel and her people — and for the day when God will bless Israel with His most precious gift of shalom, peace.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President