For the past several years our Men's Club has been able to send a large donation to Kehilat Hakerem - the Masorti cong re gation in Karmiel.
We are in frequent contact with Rabbi Landau who keeps us informed of the activities and growth of his congregation. This information is shared with our members through email, mail and/or our MC Newsletter. The news gives us some understanding of life in this "New Town" in the North. Our synagogue will be having a trip to Israel this December and a visit to our "twin" congregation is on the it irnary.
We are impressed of how far a dollar converted into schekels can go in Karmiel.
They use our contribution to fund interpretors in Spanish and Russian (as half of the town and congregation are relatively new immigrants from Argentina and Russia) who translate the Rabbi's weekly sermon, advertise the High Holy Services, conduct a monthly youth Shabbat service, bring children from local secular schools to the Synagogue and in general add to their programs. This year our contribution helped fund Bar/Bat Mitzvah classes, including a trip to Jerusalem. For many of the children this was their first time visiting Jerusalem. Several of Rabbi Landau's updates are below. ( A few photos are attached if you can open them.)
Within our club, program activities include several with speakers from or about Israel. They are summarized below.
When the fighting with Hezbollah began this Summer, the Men's Club initiated a series of meetings within the synagogue to mobilize support for Israel and Israelis beyond writing a check. (We did send funds to UJA Emergency Fund for Israel and Masorti Emergency Relief Fund.) The committee expanded on an ad hoc basis to include other synagogue members including the head of our Israel Committee and even college students. We were able to send synagogue wide mail informing people where to get news direct from Israel, how to send funds and ended with the attached talking points which were sent to College Students and Young Graduates.
Rabbi Landau from Karmiel was travelling in the US before the war started. He attended one of our committee meetings and gave us a harrowing explanation of how life for his congregation changed with the almost daily rocket attacks they were receiving. At that time, it was unclear if schools would even open in September.
He happened to mention that in Israel, students are responsible for purchasing their own supplies. The head of our Tikkun Olam worked with Rabbi Landau and the head of the PAS Congregational School to organize the school children in a drive to collect supplies to send to the children in Karmiel. The Men's Club sponsored the cost of shipping.