Features Archive

MMY Responds to Operation Amud Anan

Amud Anan Drive
(left to right) Racheli Ambinder, Ellie Feldman and Sara Lerer buying toys with the money they raised, to be sent to the South.
Of course, the recent “Amud Anan” military campaign made its greatest impact on the residents of Southern Israel who lived for those weeks with the constant fear of rockets and sirens. In Jerusalem, by contrast, there were only two incidents where a siren was sounded, and (thankfully) no rockets fell in the city. But that doesn’t mean life went on as normal.  

      In MMY – just as everywhere else in Israel – bomb shelters were cleared, students were instructed about emergency procedures, and everyone was constantly on alert. These changes in daily routine and awareness were new experiences for almost all of our talmidot and their parents. Recognizing this, Rabbi Katz kept everyone updated, informed and calm with his famous daily news updates. We also changed thefocus of our previously-scheduled MMY BAKAhilla community Erev Iyun with special guest Rabbi Ari Berman. Instead of dealing with topics in the weekly parsha as planned, the evening was devoted to issues related to the current events (recordings of the talks are available here, here and here.)

"...Shana Aleph students realized that when other Jews are suffering, none of us can look the other way"
But the most significant aspect of these weeks in MMY came about due to the initiative of a number of Shana Aleph students who realized that when other Jews are suffering, none of us can look the other way. Trying to see how they could help, the girls decided to start an emergency toy and food drive to aid the beleaguered residents of the South. Students and members of the local community placed toys and food items in collection baskets in MMY’s lobby, and parents and friends abroad donated money (they raised over 8000 shekels in total!), which they used to purchase many more items. The “Israel Aid Mission” organization facilitated the timely delivery of these products to the South.

      “It was a great feeling to be able to help our brothers in this time of need. Even though, Baruch Hashem, we were not directly impacted by these events, we were still able to give of ourselves to help those who were. It was so amazing to see the immediate response of my peers here at MMY and all the others who generously donated to this cause. We are very thankful to everyone for their contributions”, said Sara Lerer, one of the student organizers.

     Although of course nobody would ever ask to be in a situation like this, ironically many of the students expressed appreciation for what they saw as an incredible opportunity to be with Am Yisrael at the center of events in a time of difficulty. This somewhat surprising perspective is reflected in an article that our talmida Zisse Hanfling wrote for her high school, Maayanot in Teaneck (available online here, beginning on page 2).  

      Now that this war has ended and life has (thankfully) returned to normal, the girls have eagerly returned to their studies with a new appreciation for the requests for Shalom that we recite in our daily tefillot. And of course, they also have a new appreciation and interest in current events in Israel, just in time for the next big event – next month’s elections for the Knesset!

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