Operation Life Shield

Tzeva adom! Tzeva adom!

When the warning sounds in S’derot or Ashkelon, the Israelis who hear it know they have just seconds to seek shelter before a rocket hits.

Northern Israel, including Louisville’s partnership region, the Western Galilee, isn’t always safe either. During the Second Lebanon War, their cities, towns, villages and farms were also vulnerable to attack. And today, as Hezbollah rearms with more advanced and deadlier weapons than they had in 2006, Israelis keep a watchful eye.How can Israel protect its citizens when the attacks come? Operation Life Shield has one answer – small air raid shelters that can be placed near the most vulnerable, least mobile population.

Operation Life Shield began in response to the second Lebanon War, the organization’s executive director, Rabbi Shmuel Bowman, explained during a recent visit to Louisville. It is a grassroots response designed to help citizens living under the threat of rocket fire to have as normal a life as possible.

To do that, Rabbi Bowman explained, “We raise funds to build air raid shelters for communities, so they can live their lives, and when rocket fire comes in, they can seek shelter quickly and safely above ground.” This eliminates the risk of injury as people rush down steps to safety, a risk that increases for young children and frail seniors.

The funds Operation Life Shield raises go to purchase small shelters that can hold 15 adults, or larger ones that accommodate 50 adults. Either can be transported on trucks designed to move tanks.

Many of these shelters are now in place in S’derot and Ashkelon, and Rabbi Bowman has plans to expand his operations to the Western Galilee. He has already been in contact with Hehuda Shavit, the mayor of the Mateh Asher Regional Council to begin the project.

He was in Louisville for a fundraising telethon with Evangel World Prayer Center and Christians United for Israel. Evangel Pastor Bob Rodgers put Rabbi Bowman and Operation Life Shield on his Word of Life Show on Channel 21 on October 12 from 8:30-10.

“Operation Lifeshield is not just Jewish,” he said. “It brings together Jews and Christians who care deeply for Israel with some amazing results.” He went on to describe his organization as a humanitarian project that protects Christians, Jews and Arabs.

For more information about Operation Lifeshield, go to www.operationlifeshield.org.

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