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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pina Chama Update

Update:  As of Saturday Night, the donations received here on the site now total $3,006.50  almost $4000 USD (not counting checks that people have promised to send in).  Keep up the good work people... we're about 1/3 of the way there!!!

I am just blown away by the wonderful response to this post about the Pina Chama being robbed.   Thank you so much!

We have gotten a small flood of donations via the paypal buttons here on the site... and a promise of many checks to be sent to the address I provided.  This is a fantastic start.  But we're not there yet... not by a long shot.

If you haven't made a donation, please help.  Even a couple of bucks is an incredible gift. 

Some of you have written to say you've had problems with the donation button.  If that doesn't work, there is also a little orange and gray button down on the right sidebar with the words 'Spoil Soldiers' printed on it.  Click that and you should be able to make a donation.

Others have asked what email address should be put in the paypal 'send money to' field.  That would be:  treppenwitz-at-gmail-dot-com (obviously substitute the correct characters).  Paypal should automatically fill this in, but if not... now you know what to do.

Many people have asked about the tax exempt status of the Pina Chama.  Unfortunately the Pina Chama does not have the staffing to handle the blizzard of paperwork required annually to maintain this status at present.  By rights it should... and in the near future it probably will.  But for now, if making a tax exempt/deductible contribution is vitally important to you, please email me privately (treppenwitz-at-gmail-dot-com) and I will direct you to a larger charity that has agreed to process checks (earmarked for the Pina Chama) without taking off any fees.

A few of you zeroed in on my reference to the two men in whose memory the Pina Chama was founded.  Allow me to share a bit about them as well as some background information about the place:

The Pina Chama was founded in May of 2001 in memory of Dr. Shmuel Gillis and Tzachi Sasson who were gunned down in separate incidents while driving home to their families.  Both men were (reserve) officers in the IDF and were known to take a deep personal interest in the welfare of their soldiers.  It seemed fitting that a safe, welcoming haven for soldiers would be an appropriate tribute to their memory.

Approximately 200 soldiers visit the Pina Chama every day for hot/cold drinks, home-baked cakes and cookies, hot soup (in winter) and cold watermelon (in summer).  Within the safe confines of the Pina Chama, soldiers can unwind and enjoy music, play board games, read current newspapers and enjoy the warm attention of a staff of volunteer 'aunts and uncles'. 

This free service is but a small attempt on the part of the local communities to say 'thank you' for the dangerous but essential work performed by these young soldiers.

Just as a point of reference, above and beyond the staffing and baking which is all done free of charge by volunteers, here are some typical ongoing operating costs:

1 week supply of:
coffee, sugar and juice:  $175
milk:  $75
popcorn: $75
paper goods: $75

Additional sponsorship opportunities include:
A weekly sponsorship of the Pina Chama is $450
Holiday care packages for soldiers can be sponsored for $18 each
Sponsorship of the annual BBQ for the soldiers is $1000

Anyone who would like to volunteer as an 'aunt/uncle' at the Pina Chama during an upcoming visit to our area is always welcome to lend a hand.  Contact me and I'll hook you up.

Lastly, I have asked that, in addition to the emails I've been trying to send to everyone who has made a donation, that a representative of the Pina Chama write or email each of you to acknowledge your generosity.  You have my word (as I have theirs) that your contact information WILL NOT be used for future solicitations or shared with any third party.

So here's your chance... take a few seconds and help set a bad thing right.  Send your donations to:

The Pina Chama
8/2 Rechov Haziporen
Efrat, 90435

Or click here:

The honor Roll so far (not including the anonymous donors):

The Eastmans
Josh Weinstein
Russ Gold
Gershon Dubin
Michael Harbater
Shlomo Argamon
Alice Jonsson
yonah lloyd
Elan Rieser
VV Ramras
Judy Keiner
Jane Hartman
Abby Breitstein
Janet Fuchs
Andrew Cooper
Elliot Ganz
Karl Newman
Andy Lang
Maya Sprague
Sarah Schwartz
Redsugar muse
Devri Ehrlich
Michael Gartenberg
Ilana Marcus
Jesse Kelber
The Adlers
Meyer Halpern
Mark G Jorgensen
Alex Schajer
Johnny <3  :-)
Rebecca Landes
randall wolf
Paula Riemer
lewis wienerkur
Steve Bogner
Beatrice Brecher
Raz & Debra Haramati
Selvin Family
Yaron Steinbuch
Ben Niderberg
Hili Hamer
Josh Nachtigal
Barry Farkas
Val Bogner

Posted by David Bogner on September 29, 2007 | Permalink


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Wow...that is actually one of the more crappy YK theft stories. YK is a notorious day for thieving in Israel, particularly in religious areas, since the pros/scum know that in most cases, during Kol Nidre, no one is at home.

Posted by: Noa | Sep 24, 2007 7:59:14 PM

I wish to donate , but do not want to join any thing, just plainly give my card details and shalom al Israel. Please help savta yaffa

Posted by: yaffa glass | Sep 24, 2007 8:21:47 PM


I'm mailing a cheque.

If they catch the guys who did it I'd like a seat on the jury.

P.S. - Facebook "causes" are a good idea for this sort of thing.

Chag Sameach,


Posted by: Gilly | Sep 24, 2007 9:30:59 PM

Hi David,

Would you please E-mail me so we can discuss the best way in which I can make a donation?


Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak. | Sep 24, 2007 11:56:53 PM


Posted by: Alice | Sep 25, 2007 8:39:46 PM

Go team go! On behalf of both the soldiers and the incredible team of local volunteers, I'd like to shout out a HUGE thanks to everyone who has thus far participated. We are all bowled over by your generosity!

To those still thinking about helping: the estimated losses are hovering around $12,000 USD... and that amount is based upon purchase (not replacement) values....

Tizku l'mitzvot and chag sameach! <3

Posted by: zahava | Sep 25, 2007 9:04:16 PM

I tried the make a donation link through paypal but it seems to be broken.

Posted by: nombody | Sep 25, 2007 9:37:02 PM

I made a donation through PayPal, but it looks like either they, or my bank is holding it back for a few days. Strange, because all the other times I've used PayPay, the payment was almost instantanious. Sorry for the delay!

Posted by: JDMDad | Sep 26, 2007 2:26:56 PM

Unfortunately this was only the biggest of several burglaries of the Pina Chama over its short career - maybe we should add a security camera hooked up to one of the local towns' security systems to the list of things to buy this time around...?

Posted by: Dan | Oct 1, 2007 11:17:27 AM

Is there a 501(c)3 organization that could take these donations? Because then I can get a matching contribution from work...


Posted by: Danny | Oct 18, 2007 6:49:28 AM

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