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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do some good

Several people have emailed and left comments asking what they can do to help. 

First and foremost, if you are in Israel, the obvious thing to do is go find a mobile blood donation vehicle (or go to a hospital) and give blood.  The blood supply is almost always critically low, so there is never a bad time to do this.  You can donate every three months.

If you aren't in Israel, come.  I know there are better vacation destinations this time of year (even under the best of circumstance), but Israel's life blood is tourism.  Come to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem (or Eilat if you crave the sun) and show your solidarity in a safe, easy way.  Nothing demonstrates your unwavering support like showing up and supporting the local economy. 

Can't afford a fancy hotel?  Email me and I'll put you up with us or any of a hundred other friends (including some of your favorite bloggers) who would be happy to make you feel at home.  Really!

Another important task is to provide constant feedback to your elected representatives - no matter where you live - asking them to support Israel in any way possible.  No need to get into a long drawn-out discussion of issues or of wrong & right.  They know the issues.  What they don't know is how their constituency feels about the issues.

The rule of thumb that many elected officials use is that every call, email or letter they receive represents 1000 people who feel the same way but didn't bother to make contact.  Put that way, your short email or voice message can have a tremendous impact.  Get a few friends and family to write or call in and you have a groundswell of support for Israel.

Next, monitor your local media (e.g. newspapers, radio and television) and let them know you are there.  Let them know that you notice when they distort the news... and also tell them when they get it right.  The media is in the business of supplying a product.  They make no secret of their willingness to modify their product to suit their audience.  What you have to do is make sure they know that their audience is firmly pro-Israel.  Complaining to your newspaper does nothing.  Complaining to the people who produce the news does everything!

Last but not least, if you have the resources to make even a small contribution to one of the following organizations, please do so.  There are endless organizations that do good things, but the ones I've listed here have a proven track record of service along with a transparent financial stewardship that shows a very small overhead and the lion's share of the contributions going directly to benefit the end-user.  This is in no way a criticism of any other organization.  Feel free to recommend others in the comments.

So go do some good (and encourage your friends and family to do likewise):

Magen David Adom

Hatzolah

Zaka

Yad Sarah

Posted by David Bogner on December 30, 2008 | Permalink

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There is also Warm the Needy.

Warm the Needy provides heaters/radiators for poor families in Israel. They also directly subsidize the electric bill for families who can't afford to pay for the heating.

Last year (thanks to the bloggers and their readers) Warm the Needy distributed 600 heaters and assisted with the electric bills for 1500 poor families.

This year, the number of families Warm the Needy is trying to help is even larger.

Posted by: Stephen | Dec 30, 2008 10:22:08 AM

You can add the Medad Inn to the list of "blog hosts." If it's good enough for the BBC... http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2008/12/blunt-on-bbc.html ....
Though some Gush Katif dp's have first choice of rooms.

Posted by: Batya | Dec 30, 2008 10:28:20 AM

Can't afford a fancy hotel? Email me and I'll put you up with us or any of a hundred other friends (including some of your favorite bloggers) who would be happy to make you feel at home. Really!
Be careful David and Batya, we might take you at your word.

Feel free to recommend others in the comments.

I support Zaka too. Another favorite of mine is Meir Panim. http://www.meirpanim.org/index_e.php

Blogging about it is another way of helping I guess. The right tags will bring people to read your blog posts.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Dec 30, 2008 10:46:20 AM

We would also love to host visitors.

Posted by: Ben-David | Dec 30, 2008 11:41:16 AM

Thank you for providing the links to MDA and the others. I included them in today's post: How You Can Help:
http://superraizy.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-you-can-help.html

Posted by: Raizy | Dec 30, 2008 3:13:24 PM

I have been feeling the urge in the last few days to jump on a plane and come. responsibilities to my own little family and chattan come first, but my heart is in Israel with you.

and speaking from experience - The Treppenwitz Inn is warm and comfortable, the food exquisite and the company beyond compare. If I could i would return in a heartbeat.

Stay Strong, Our prayers are with you.

Posted by: Hadassah | Dec 30, 2008 3:14:15 PM

Our prayers are with you in Israel, especially the brave soldiers.

I am happy to see Yad Sarah on the list, as that was one that lost money due to affiliation with the goniff Madoff.

Posted by: Leora | Dec 30, 2008 3:23:34 PM

Thanks for the tips! The news here in Canada on the CBC is so anti-Israel that it makes me sick! Stand strong, Israel is in our prayers.

Posted by: WaysofZion | Dec 30, 2008 3:41:58 PM

Where did your 'Spoil a Soldier' button go? Am I missing it?

Posted by: Alice | Dec 30, 2008 3:48:50 PM

Found it. Move that puupy up to the top and make it gigantic. : )

Posted by: Alice | Dec 30, 2008 3:52:16 PM

À åñòü, êàêàÿ íèáóäü àëüòåðíàòèâà?

Posted by: eagerowcago | Dec 30, 2008 3:53:20 PM

prayers and peace, David and Zahava.

Posted by: weese | Dec 30, 2008 4:19:55 PM

Another good one is Standing Together: http://stogether.org/gaza

They try to boost moral by bringing soldiers coffee, snacks, and cell phone charging stations. These small things are so important during these stressful times.

Posted by: Trip'n Mommy | Dec 30, 2008 5:50:11 PM

Add us to the list of people willing to host! We're in Modi'in, right in the centre of the country - an easy train ride to Tel Aviv, and an easy bus ride to Jerusalem, with interesting tourist destinations all around us. :)

Posted by: Alissa | Dec 30, 2008 6:54:02 PM

Chabad's Terror Victims Project offers support and comfort to victims of terror and their families by providing financial, spiritual and emotional assistance as needed.

CTVP includes a network of emergency response teams that intervene with victims and their families within hours after an attack and continues with long term, community-based assistance and activities...

http://www.ctvp.org/index.asp?catID=197&siteLang=2

Posted by: the sabra | Dec 30, 2008 11:33:57 PM

Ohoh, you guys don't know what you are doing, or do you? I would love to visit Israel again, to show my daughter this wonderful land, but in this "economic climate" I can't quite afford it.

Now, the first time I was in Israel, when still in college, I did live with some Israeli families for a few days and the experience was so much more "genuine" than a hotel based vacation, I would love to repeat this...

So, you don't know, may be I come knocking at your doors... :)

Posted by: John | Dec 31, 2008 12:53:50 AM

I'd love to come also, I've been tentatively planning to come to Israel this summer once tax season is over. You might not want me though, because I am messianic.

Posted by: Channah | Dec 31, 2008 6:52:13 AM

if you cant come to israel and support us via a trip or to donate money to the endless charities in israel that currently need our help - another choice is to get involved with the online war to spread our side of the war with the rest of the world.. check out www.helpuswin.wordpress.com on how to use social media and get our voices heard. we are currently waging the war on twitter, facebook, digg, youtube, stumbleupon, flickr, blogging and sending out emails to friends/contacts who need to hear OUR side.


Posted by: ahuvah | Dec 31, 2008 10:50:13 AM

Hi,
Seems like at least one person from my country is already working in IL helping you guys:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230456537109&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

Unfortunately for now only thing I can do is to monitor local media, forums and representatives. And glad to repeat - I am not the only one here.

Keep it up.

&

Posted by: Andrzej | Dec 31, 2008 1:06:33 PM

I put this on Facebook.

Posted by: Chaya | Jan 1, 2009 6:05:57 PM

Not sure if this still counts as supporting Israel - but I will come to Israel very soon. Also this tripp was planned way before the war started. Maybe my not canceling does count a bit as support? Im not posting this here to look for hosts but as I hope to not only experience touristy things I would really appreciate infos how to get insights about Israels culture and people.

Posted by: Viennetian | Feb 7, 2009 10:51:50 AM

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