I always feel helpless and frustrated when someone gets killed by terror in Israel. I feel like there has to be something we can do to stop these attacks, but what?
I hate that feeling of uselessness when our people are suffering.
Even after an attack happens, my heart and soul are screaming to me, “DO SOMETHING!”
I always find myself thinking of the family of the victims as well as the soldiers who are under imaginable pressure as they try to keep us safe and secure.
Last Thursday, my personal feeling of helplessness was magnified ten fold. I was traveling around the United States for the Standing Together organization to raise money for winter gear for IDF soldiers.
When I heard of the horrible terrorist attack and the brutal murder of Ezra Schwartz, my heart sank. I live in Gush Etzion and a terrible feeling of guilt came over me knowing I was not home while my family, friends and country were going through a rough time.
What made things even tougher was the fact that Ezra went out to the Gush Etzion junction to show appreciation to soldiers and hand them out food, snacks and other signs of appreciation when Muslim terrorists murdered him. The fact that Ezra was doing the same thing I have done regularly with Standing Together, really resonated with me.
There I was, in NY, reading about terror in my own backyard and a I felt completely helpless.
As a resident of Gush Etzion, I felt so far away and so badly wanted to do something, but what?
Talking to family and friends about these feelings, I saw that we were all going through the same thing. I realized that it doesn’t matter where we live, everyone had a strong desire to do something. To try to make things better, to try to make something good out of a terrible situation. What could any of us do from six thousand miles away? Everyone I spoke to wanted to do something with this anger and hurt.
That is when Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of digital marketing firm 360i, and a close member of my family decided to take action. Knowing I was in the US, working on raising funds to provide winter clothing and treats to soldiers, just as Ezra Schwartz was doing when he was killed, Sarah decided there is no better way to honor Ezra Schwartz than continue his work!
Sarah started an online campaign in Ezra’s memory and asked her friends and family to get involved and it didn’t take long till they did. The response has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support towards IDF soldiers in Ezra Schwartz’s name.
Standing Together has teamed up with Yeshivat Ashreinu, the Yeshiva Ezra was attending, and is planning on using the funds to sponsor winter gear for a full IDF unit and have the Yeshiva join us on an IDF base and give out the gear as well as make a BBQ for the unit. There is no more meaningful message to honor and remember Ezra Schwartz that to continue the Chessed he started.
I feel unbelievably fortunate that I can help turn our feeling of helplessness into something that will both honor Ezra’s memory as well as show IDF soldiers how much they mean to us, wherever you are in the world.
I want to publicly thank Sarah Hofstetter and all those who donate to this important campaign below. It is the support from people like Sarah and all those who join her in this campaign that prove how strong our people are.
Please click on the campaign below and help us keep Ezra’s memory alive by continuing his work!
Fundraising Websites – Crowdrise