is a story about how a small community can make a difference.
Shaaray Tefilah is a modest congregation in North Miami Beach
with fewer than 200 families. Like many communities throughout
the US, the members of this congregation sought a way to help
Israel in these troubled times. The lack of tourism and the deteriorating
security situation have caused many businesses to close, generating
unemployment and the near collapse of the Israeli economy.
Maimonides teaches that the highest form of tzedaka is to bring
work to the faltering, thereby contributing to their economic
solvency without the loss of self-respect. Congregation Shaaray
Tefilah teamed up with eLuna.com, the website for kosher restaurants
in Israel, and developed a two-pronged program that brings both
needed revenue to Israeli businesses while saluting the Israeli
security forces. In this plan, an American community adopts an
Israeli army unit, and sends each soldier to dinner at an Israeli
restaurant. The soldiers enjoy a well-deserved break and the restaurants
receive an infusion of badly needed cash.
Congregation Shaaray Tefila launched this program by adopting
The 51st Golani Brigade. Moved by the story of Gedalya Mellick,
a courageous young Golani soldier killed in the line of duty during
Operation Defense Shield, this congregation took on the ambitious
goal of treating each soldier in this brigade at a kosher Israeli
restaurant. eLuna.com was asked to be the interface between the
American community, the army, and the restaurants.
So far the congregation has raised $10,000 from their community.
This sum will start the ball rolling. But they don't want to stop
there. The congregation would like to encourage other communities
to adopt their own army unit and continue the project across the
entire Israeli army.
Here are some pictures
from the ceremony with the Golani brigade.
If you have any questions, or are interested in starting this
program in your synagogue, please email admin@eLuna.com.
The eLuna.com website is your companion for kosher goods and services
in Israel, kosher travel deals, wines and more. www.eLuna.com