Yom Haatzmaut 2014

While most Israelis are firing up their barbeque grills at beaches and parks or their backyards, a special group of them, mostly olim from North America and the UK are doing something a little different. The 250 volunteers who are joining Standing Together, www.stogether.org have decided to give of themselves to those who are safeguarding the very independence we are celebrating.
For the past several years, Volunteer, Director and Founder of Standing Together, David Landau and his staff of one part time worker, Miriam Gottlieb, have organized barbeques at army bases all over Israel as an alternative to the beach or park barbeque. David said “ the event is fantastic, people thanking the soldiers, the soldiers thanking the volunteers, it’s so meaningful for everyone.” The organization provides the meat and the grills, the Army provides salads and the volunteers provide all the condiments, entertainment and most importantly, the effort involved in cooking it all.
This year, all of the participants are members of Standing Together and have committed to help the organization all year long. They are a part of the many activities that Standing Together does to show our appreciation to our soldiers. Standing Together celebrates all of our holidays with IDF soldiers and lets the soldiers know they are appreciated by people all over the world, in addition to giving them things like hats and gloves in the winter, ice cold drinks and treats in the summer. Standing Together encourages people all over the world to become members and be a part of all that they do.
We served thousands of hot dogs but “the best part was sitting around with the soldiers afterwards and seeing the gratitude in their eyes that we took time out to come and say thank you to them” said one volunteer who has been spending Yom Haatzmaut with Standing Together for several years. “A soldier told me today that he thought he was going to have tuna for lunch and instead we are having a feast!” said another volunteer. Soldiers on 5 different army bases had a chance to celebrate, feel appreciated and enjoy, thanks to the volunteers and donors of Standing Together.
Strange weather for this time of year didn’t deter anyone from doing their part to help. The slight rain made the temperatures more bearable and the volunteers had a great attitude. Many of them are eager to register for next year already!