Spread Some of the Joy of Purim in Israel

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Dear Friends,

Believe it or not, Purim is right around the corner! As we prepare for our parties and plan out our costumes, we also have a special opportunity to spread some Purim joy in Israel.

Please join our campaign to send Mishloach Manot to the members of the Jerusalem Border Patrol, and police officers stationed in Jerusalem’s Old City, a unique combination of IDF soldiers and police officers tasked with ensuring the security of our sacred capital. Over the past few months, a disturbing number of vicious terror attacks have changed the daily reality in Israel – primarily in Jerusalem. This new wave of violence was just starting to become the frightening norm as we attended the 37th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem this past October. Tensions could be felt throughout the city, and country. Jerusalem businesses have suffered, tourism has decreased, and parents don’t leave their homes with their children without carrying handheld items for self-defense.Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 11.36.39 AM

While tragic news spreads quickly, what we don’t see or hear about in the US are the numerous attacks thwarted. Over the past six months, border patrol and police forces have seized countless weapons and prevented on average 2-3 terror attacks per day in the greater Jerusalem area. Just last week, Hadar Cohen Z”L, a 19 year-old border policewoman was killed in a terrorist attack at the Damascus Gate. Brave young men and women apprehend criminals and stop terror in its tracks; heroes we rarely hear about and don’t recognize enough.

Please join us in thanking them. As the Jewish nation, we have a responsibility to protect Israel, our Homeland. Though we may not be there personally, we can support those on the front lines who work tirelessly to keep our eternal capital safe so that Jerusalem’s civilians can walk the streets safely.

Imagine the pride and joy of a young officer receiving a show of appreciation from the global Jewish community this Purim.

Your gift of:

  •  $36 will provide one policeman with a basket;
  •  $180 will ensure an entire team will receive baskets.

In addition to this important initiative, and as in years past, the American Zionist Movement’s Purim Connection
program will continue to celebrate Purim with children in Ashkelon and other Israeli towns and villages.

  •  A gift of $300 will provide mishloach manot for an entire class.

Every gift counts and even a small donation will help an officer or Israeli child to enjoy the holiday. All gift baskets are purchased in Israel, therefore providing critical support to small Israeli businesses. Our friends and colleagues in Israel will hand deliver your gift basket.

Mishloach manot can be easily ordered via our website, please include a personal message that will be delivered with the basket.

This year’s campaign will be dedicated in memory of our dear friend and colleague, Marty Davis, who was instrumental in ensuring the success of this program in Israel. Marty made a difference and is sorely missed.

Amidst the latest wave of terror, we reflect on the meaning of Purim, a celebration to commemorate one of many stories from our collective history that exhibits our unique ability to stand up to our enemies, and unite as a people to overcome danger. In these difficult times, the American Zionist community, whose members are from vastly different backgrounds and perspectives, must join together to boost the morale to those who protect and serve, Israel and world Jewry. In doing so, we send the crucial message to Israel that we stand by her side, now during this difficult period, and always.

This Purim, join this initiative to do something different, do something special. Please order your mishloach manot baskets today or mail in a check to:

American Zionist Movement
40 Wall Street, Suite #706
New York, NY 10005.

The AZM, the American arm of the World Zionist Organization, is committed to the strengthening of Israel – locally, and around the world. JOIN US in uniting as a people, overcoming fear, and making this Purim a very special one for Israel’s quiet heroes.

We thank you for your support.

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz                                                           William D. Hess

President                                                                          Chair, Purim Connection

Sig Will + Vernon

 

 

 

 

P.S. We ask that you make your gift by March 9, 2016.

 

Participate in the AZM Purim Connection 2014

AZM_PurimIllustration_smallFebruary 10, 2014/10 Adar 5774

Did you notice it’s Adar? Well, really Adar I.

Soon it will be Purim. The streets in Israel and Jewish neighborhoods around the world will resonate and echo with the laughter and gaiety associated with Purim. It is a day meant to let it all hang out before returning to the stresses and strains of daily life.

But away from the merriment stand Lone Soldiers, olim,who are  immigrants to the Jewish State, standing guard in defense of a newly-adopted Homeland. It is Purim. Who will send them Purim gifts, mishloach manotYou can through the annual AZM Purim Connection, now more than 25 years old. A gift of $36, $54 or more will brighten the routine for these shomrim, guardians of our future and tell them they are cared about and remembered.

The Purim Connection will also reach Israeli children who will gain a new perspective on Jewish life when they receiving a gift from far away.  AZM engages day schools and synagogue classes in the US to collect here for mishloah manot that go to eager hands over there.  Your personal donation will be joined with those from the schools, bringing joy to many in Israel. It will happen if you make it so.

For American Zionists and supporters of Israel, there is no ad de lo yadah, not knowing the difference between Mordechai and Haman. We are ever conscious of the need for strength, vigilance and harmony among Jews on Israel’s behalf. The AZM Purim Connection is the perfect way to demonstrate that connection.

Please deliver the joy of Purim to an Israeli student, soldier, friend with the message of solidarity and love of Zion.. For $36, $54, $72 or more you can be a Mordechai or Esther to an old friend, new friend or about to be friend.

For the Jews There was Light, Gladness, Joy and Honor—and so may we be blessed

Please give generously.

Zion Greetings, Purim Sameach.

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, President

William D. Hess, Chairman, Purim Connection

Karen Rubinstein, Executive Director

More Than 1000 Mishloach Manot Delivered to Southern Israel for Purim

Children in costume at NAAMAT centerFor more than 25 years, the American Zionist Movement has proudly been donating mishloach manot (traditional Purim gift baskets) to Israeli children and soldiers for Purim. Because of the numerous recent attacks faced by those living in the south of Israel, this year AZM focused on Ashkelon and its surrounding areas in order to show solidarity with residents there. More than 1,000 mishloach manot were distributed to a variety of organizations and community centers in need of extra support.

AZM donated the majority of mishloach manot to organizations in and around Ashkelon related to children. Children at Neve Hanna, a children’s home located in Kiryat Gat, and in the children’s ward of Barzilai Hospital, were delighted to receive their candy and noisemakers. The gifts enhanced the Purim celebration at the Kehillat Netzach Israel Ashkelon Preschool as well as at several NA’AMAT daycare centers. At the Ashkelon Family Nest, which assists young mothers and their children, recipients both enjoyed the surprise and were educated on the importance of volunteering and helping others. Ethiopian immigrant children at the Beit Canada Absorption Center celebrated Purim for the first time, and their mishloach manot made the experience even more exciting.

As in the past, in conjunction with Yashar LaChayal, an organization that provides necessities to soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, AZM donated mishloach manot to soldiers on Israel’s front lines. Lone Soldiers who are based in the Ashkelon area also were recipients of AZM gifts.

The mishloach manot were distributed by Marty and Terri Davis, who, in their capacity as Ashkelon community activists, are passionate about helping their community. In a letter of thanks to AZM, they shared how important the packages were to recipients.

[The mishloach manot] put smiles on the faces of many children and Soldiers. Try to imagine a child in the hospital missing out on the Purim festivities and, from over the ocean, special gifts arrive to help them celebrate! Even those with serious health problems were able to smile.…For us it is an emotional experience, and we would like to thank AZM on behalf of all the children and soldiers in Ashkelon for bringing them such joy and happiness.

 To help AZM continue its mission of supporting and promoting Zionism, donate here.

Purim 2012 Brings Gifts and Goodies to Soldiers and Children

volunteer with soldiers

A volunteer poses with soldiers who came to take the Purim gifts back to their units.

The 2012 Purim Connection was another stunning success with lots of thank yous coming in from across Israel.

AZM with help from AMIT, Mercaz,  and many individuals and synagogues across the country brought Purim joy to schools in Kiryat Malachi, soldiers in the front line units across the country, and to many Lone Soldiers (IDF soldiers who serve without the support of their families.)

 

An important part of our Purim Connection is the role that young Jews studying or volunteering in Israel play in the packaging and delivery of the Purim mishloach manot. This year’s volunteers from Magshimey Herut, Habonim-Dror and the kibbutz ulpan program were all on extended stays in Israel as part of  MASA Israel Journey programs.  Among the volunteers to AZM’s Purim Connection were: Raphael Falk,  Andrew DuFour,  Benjamin Scholom, Brett Godette, Yossi Cohen,  Izzy Eisen,  and Eugene Kikoin.

One of the Lone Soldiers, Gidi, who received an AZM Purim package posted on the Kehillat Netzach’s Facebook Page, expressing his happiness and gratitude. When you see comments like these you know how important it is to participate in these programs:

 

 

soldier with gift

הפורים בכלל לא היה מורגש, ולקבל חבילה מושקעת שכזאת. אוהב אתכם ומוקיר תודה. גידי איגנשטיין
thank you everyone for the great parcel for purim! it feels amazing to return from a hard week of training and still get to feel the happiness of purim with your kindness. gidi eigenstein.

We hope that next year even more congregations and individuals will help to us tell send the message to those in Israel that even though we live here in America, we are always thinking of Israel’s soldiers and citizens who are truly on the front lines of the Jewish people.

Thanks to all who helped bring this to reality!

children on Purim

Four children from an AMIT elementary school in Kiryat Malachi in Purim costumes..