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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Pina Chama was robbed!

I can't put it more delicately than that.

I've written many times about the local Pina Chama (translation: warm corner) where volunteers serve free refreshments to IDF soldiers throughout the year.  Many of you have taken the hint without being asked and have donated a few bucks to help supplement the donated goods and services.

Well, over Yom Kippur, the Pina Chama was broken into and everything  - I mean EVERYTHING! - was stolen.   The freezers, microwaves, slush machine, hot water machine, cold drink dispenser, popcorn machine and stereo (I'm sure I've left a bunch of things out) were all taken.

When some volunteers showed up after the fast in order to serve refreshments to the soldiers, all they found was an empty building.  Literally everything had been cleaned out!

You have to know where the Pina Chama is located to understand how this happened.

The Pina Chama was set up at Tzomet HaGush (Gush Etzion Junction) during the height of the 2nd Intifada after two local residents were murdered by terrorists (in separate attacks) on the roads nearby. 

The location was selected because it is a centrally located crossroads where literally hundreds of soldiers pass every day on their way to and from various bases, posts and patrol areas.  Additionally, there is a large base nearby and an army checkpoint at the intersection itself. 

Every day (except religious holidays and shabbat) the Pina Chama has been open and staffed by volunteers from early morning until late in the evening.  All of the equipment is donated, and the cakes, cookies and other treats that are served throughout the year are all home-made by a small army of volunteers from the local towns and villages of Gush Etzion.

As usual, on Yom Kippur the Pina Chama was closed, but it was felt that the soldiers standing at the nearby checkpoint would be sufficient to discourage vandalism or theft inside the building over holidays.  However, due to a high security alert and warnings of possible attacks over Yom Kippur, the local army commander pulled all his soldiers from the intersection and stationed them closer to the various communities.

Obviously someone took note of this and used the opportunity to bring a truck and cart off pretty much everything that wasn't nailed down.

I rarely do this, but I am openly asking begging for donations to rebuild this valuable institution. 

The men and women of the IDF who directly benefit from the Pina Chama come from every corner of the country and from every possible religious and political background.  Pretty much the only things they share in common are a commitment to serving their country, and the fact that they find themselves far from their homes.

In the coming weeks the Pina Chama will be open for business... but will have to manage with ice chests, borrowed/rented equipment and the blind hope that more permanent resources will fall from the sky.

That's where you lot come in.

There is absolutely no donation too small.  $1 - $5 would be fantastic.  If you can do more... do what you can.  But this is a rare cause that crosses all partisan boundaries/considerations and every penny directly benefits the soldiers.

You can send a check to:

The Pina Chama
8/2 Rechov Haziporen
Efrat, 90435

Or, if you want to donate on-line, you can simply click here:

This is such an easy thing to do... please spread the word and give what you can.  If all of the regular treppenwitz readers would just give what they normally spend on snacks/coffee in a typical day, we could put the Pina Chama back on its feet overnight!  Think about that!!!

I'll be setting up an honor roll for those who donate.  Obviously, let me know if you want to give anonymously.

In the mean time, here are some pictures I've taken over the years at the Pina Chama during the annual Yom Ha'atzmaut BBQ:















Why not start off the new year with a good deed?  Give what you can.

Posted by David Bogner on September 23, 2007 | Permalink


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Help restore a vandalized snack shack for IDF soldiers. Helps if you have a PayPal account, which can be established with a credit card number. Good photos of the patrons at the link.... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 24, 2007 1:50:38 AM

Help restore a vandalized snack shack for IDF soldiers. Helps if you have a PayPal account, which can be established with a credit card number. Good photos of the patrons at the link.... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 24, 2007 1:54:28 AM


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I'm in shock...that is such a slimy thing to do. I won't even start making assumptions about who would do such a thing....

Posted by: Safranit | Sep 23, 2007 11:09:25 AM

What a disgrace.

Posted by: Account Deleted | Sep 23, 2007 12:54:52 PM

Can't access through the donation button. Send email to send donation to.

Posted by: Gershon Dubin | Sep 23, 2007 1:47:17 PM

Safranit... I deliberately didn't share my suspicions of who might have done this terrible thing. First of all, it wouldn't help replace the lost items. Second of all, I could easily be wrong. While much of the local crime & petty theft has historically been the work of Arabs, there are plenty of Jews who are involved in crime these days. drugs, greed and/or opportunity are great equalizers when it comes to motivating scumbags.

a. ... I completely agree.

Gershon Dubin... You can also scroll down and use the Orange and Gray button at the bottom of my sidebar that says 'Spoil Soldiers'. Good luck and thanks in advance.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Sep 23, 2007 2:30:30 PM

Wow - so sorry to hear about that. I will pass this on to folks, including my daughter's school. Perhaps they can do a fundraiser to help out.

And great idea to show the pics - I mean all that eye candy of those gorgeous men - yum yum. What woman wouldn't want to help those men out. : )

Posted by: jaime | Sep 23, 2007 3:34:29 PM

Oy! That's really despicable.

I'll also publicize this as widely as I can... I'm sure there are very many who will be happy to help.

Posted by: Shlomo Argamon | Sep 23, 2007 5:49:36 PM

Thanks for doing what you do!

Posted by: Alice | Sep 23, 2007 6:25:15 PM

Is there anything you know of, as an Israeli, that we can do to put a stop to the latest Waqf destruction of archaeological treasures on the Temple Mount?

I just read about it here http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=57445 (not that I'm a fan of WND usually)

It really kills me how Israel goes to crazy lengths to protect the sanctity and archaeology of everywhere and yet the Waqf is being allowed to do the equivalent of bulldozing the Kabaa to the Jews, and trashing one of the world's most valuable archaeological sites.

Posted by: Alan | Sep 23, 2007 6:52:32 PM

David, the link doesn't work--if you can fix it, please do.


Posted by: uberimma | Sep 24, 2007 1:06:26 AM

Made a Yom Kippur donation to the Pina Chama this morning after hearing of this shameful act. Hope that other donations will make it possible to resume the 'warm corner' that our soldiers deserve. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Posted by: Chana | Sep 24, 2007 1:09:22 AM

My pleasure to contribute. Thanks for asking.

Posted by: Mickysolo | Sep 24, 2007 1:53:33 AM

Just noticed your comment about the orange button.

You have excellent timing, btw. You always seem to post these things just when I've looked at my bank statement and realized yikes! I have not figured maiser since...

Posted by: uberimma | Sep 24, 2007 4:35:52 AM

I know I'm not supposed to think such thoughts the day after yom kippur but what kind of scumbag could have pulled this off?

Posted by: mochassid | Sep 24, 2007 5:12:05 AM

Oi, how awful. What a way to start the new year eh?

Anyway... do you accept cheques or paypal in Canadian dollars? It's practically the same as the U.S. dollar now (bwahaha).

Posted by: Chantyshira | Sep 24, 2007 6:16:14 AM

I was shocked to hear of this happening. Practically every member of my family here in the U.S. has either been in the military, has been a child in a military family or married to someone in the military. To take something like this away is despicable. Thank you for alerting us to the need. I used the "spoil soldiers" button because the other one didn't seem to work.

Posted by: Maya | Sep 24, 2007 9:16:28 AM

jaime... You get out your checkbook and I'll see what I can do to include more beefcake. :-)

Shlomo Argamon... Thank you so much. anything you can do to publicize this need would be a huge help.

Alice... And thank you!

Alan... a topic for another day.

uberimma... I see you found a way to work around it. Thanks.

Chana... I did the easy part. Thank you.

mochassid... As I said to an earlier commenter, the 'who' is not really helpful to consider at this point. The 'how' of getting the Pina Chama back up and operational is all I'm worried about. Thanks.

Chantyshira... No matter where you live, if you use your credit card on paypal it will deduct the amount in US dollars.

Maya... Thanks Maya. Much appreciated.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Sep 24, 2007 2:03:09 PM

Just sick. One can never imagine things happen like this and then they happen.

Thanks for posting this...donation on the way :)

Posted by: orieyenta | Sep 24, 2007 3:11:13 PM

Done. :-).

Posted by: Annie D | Sep 24, 2007 3:33:01 PM

David, I would like to donate to this worthy cause but the paypal link doesn't seem to work for me.

When I logged in, where do I send the money?

Posted by: jacob | Sep 24, 2007 4:14:25 PM

How terrible...making a donation right now.
Gmar Tov.

Posted by: Sarak | Sep 24, 2007 5:43:27 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 10:58:38 AM

Another county heard from - where should the Paypal payment be sent? The link on your blog only takes me to my Paypal login page.

Posted by: Bill Landau | Oct 26, 2007 3:37:09 AM

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