Appeared in:
Hashavua B’elad – July 24, 2014
Hamevaser – July 23, 2014
Ezer Mizion and Elad municipality host 1,000 guests from the South
Ezer Mizion together with the Elad Municipality came up with the much-appreciated initiative of hosting families from the missile-beset South for Shabbat. While the South is being bombed unrelentingly by an assortment of missiles and rockets, the Center of the country is relatively quiet. From among the maRocket Launching clipartjor chareidi cities in Central Israel, Elad had barely heard any air-raid sirens, with the exception of isolated instances. This situation led to the innovative idea that quickly mushroomed into an important project, eliciting an enthusiastic response on all fronts.
The collaborative effort of Ezer Mizion and the Elad Municipality with Vice-mayor Tzuriel Krispal and City Council members Pinchas Gross and Asaf Agbala all began with a call from Avi Sorias, director of the Ezer Mizion branch in Elad, to Councilman Gross. Gross immediately set up an appointment, together with another Elad resident, Danny Fried.
Even before the collaboration, City Councilman Asaf Agbala had thought of the idea of extending an invitation to host families from the South. Last week, all the parallel initiatives merged together to produce a highly successful project.
Agbala told us this week: “I was amazed to see the enthusiastic response on the part of the city’s residents, from all sectors. It was gratifying to see the open, giving Jewish hearts in action, especially during this trying time.”
Well before Shabbat, a planning meeting took place, with local municipality staff and Ezer Mizion staff and volunteers. At the meeting, they decided to prepare to receive 1,000 people, with 80 families hosted in empty school classrooms and another 50 families with local families who volunteered to host in their homes.
The municipality laid the groundwork for hosting families in schools (cleaning the facilities, making sure air conditioners were working) while Ezer Mizion handled all the hosting logistics, food arrangements (including meals, drinks, snacks, disposables, etc.) Donations were rallied for linen, mattresses, toys, games and entertainment. Ezer Mizion prepared a full schedule and activity program for the families from Thursday, when the guests began arriving, through Sunday afternoon.
The organizers were surprised to find that within a few hours of publicizing the call to families in the South, hundreds of families had signed up for the opportunity. At the same time, many families in Elad lined up for the privilege of hosting the beset Southerners.
Elad’s Mayor Yisrael Porush, said that “showing our support these days for residents of the South is logical and to be expected. I am very proud that residents of our city displayed such a spirit of volunteering and I have the highest praise for the people behind this, including members of the City Council and our local Ezer Mizion branch, who worked so hard to make this project a success.”