Summer Here Is Easy; Not So in Israel

Summertime in Louisville and the living is easy. Vacations, summer camp, visits to the JCC pool, sailing and kayaking on the Ohio River all make for an enjoyable summer. But things are different in Israel.

People in Israel must always be aware of the location of the nearest shelter or safe place. Those whose mobility is challenged spend much of their time in the shelters because they may not be able to move quickly enough to make it in time before a rocket hits.

Children are often hard to keep occupied under the best of circumstances. Can you image the challenge of providing a safe environment while trying to also allow them to enjoy their childhood? Last week, Dafi Chen, our shlicha who is spending the summer working with our JCC summer camp, helped our campers create care packages to send to the children in Israel most affected by this current conflict. These packages include cards, games, handmade paper toys and candy. The cards bring messages and the hope for peace. Our children are doing what they can as they also appreciate what they are experiencing here in Louisville. (See story.)

I urge you to read about our Stop the Sirens campaign. The time for action and support is now. Our own annual campaign has come to a close and yet we are still waiting to connect with a few of our donors to make their final pledges as we begin disbursing our campaign pledges to support the programs and services the Federation Annual Campaign supports in Louisville, across North America, globally, and the important support we send to our sister agencies in Israel to help so many at-risk populations and programs.

This is always important – every day, every year and especially today – as I ask you to think about the differences between our Louisville summer this year and the summer experiences of those in Israel.

We cannot turn a switch to transition people from conflict to normalcy without adjustment. We need to help create an easy adjustment to help people cope with the conflict and return to more normal routines. It is a different part of the world with a truly different daily reality.

Our brothers and sisters in Israel live a different norm than we do in Louisville. The Jewish community of Louisville has always raised the funds needed during crisis times. We must do our part to meet those needs this time as well.

Together we do extraordinary things. Today I ask us all to take it up a notch.

Next month I will share with you all about the exciting year we have planned as we begin to put our programs together.

Something Big is coming on September 14, 2014. Save the date.

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