Change of Plans

May 14, 2021

Dear Amudim Family,

When you work at Amudim, one of the things that you learn right away is that crises are never scheduled, which means that when a situation strikes, you need to be able to shift gears quickly and hit the ground running.

That was exactly the position I found myself in two weeks ago when what should have been a relatively short overseas trip for the dedication of the Mendy Klein Crisis Center at our Israel office turned into something that none of us could have ever imagined. As I mentioned last week, Amudim’s government relations and special projects director David Kushner and I were grateful to have been on hand to assist grieving families after the catastrophe in Meron, and we extended our stays and worked around the clock in order to deal with the fallout of that heartbreaking event. Many, many requests for help from students affected in one way or another by Meron came into the Amudim Israel office, with some looking for help and guidance, while others were in need of therapeutic care and we worked overtime finding ways to help students who needed permits get back to Israel, in addition to arranging burials in Israel for several young people who tragically lost their personal battles against substance abuse.

After two intense weeks of barely sleeping, I decided to take a self-care day and headed to Karnei Shomron to visit my family. I got a personal tour of the region’s wineries and farmlands and had a lunch meeting with Israeli activist and politician Yossi Dagan, but even that attempt at relaxation wasn’t meant to be. Finding ourselves on the road as the first rocket attack came in, we had to get out of our car and down on the ground as rockets from Gaza flew over our heads. Seeing the Iron Dome intercept those missiles was truly amazing – but I’m not going to lie – the fear was genuine and very real. Rocket attacks impacted our trip once again when our flight back to New York was delayed after missile attacks closed Ben Gurion Airport, and when we finally got the all clear, we spent three hours on the tarmac waiting to take off, a sobering reminder of how Israelis live under the specter of rocket attacks day after day. As we flew home, I couldn’t help but reflect on how appreciative I was for the opportunity to carry out Amudim’s mission during our visit to Israel, stepping in during a crisis and helping those in need.

The upcoming celebration of Shavuos, which is also known as Yom Habikurim – the day of the first fruits, couldn’t be more timely. The past few weeks have brought unimaginable hardships, the stress and difficulty exacerbated by the realities of a year that none of us will ever forget. But seeing those first buds bear fruit, heralding the promise of what lies ahead, gives us all an opportunity to channel that optimism and use it to offer a helping hand to those who are struggling. As you enjoy your Shabbos and get ready to celebrate Shavuos, take a minute to share a kind word with someone who is doing their best to get healthy and to daven for our brothers and sisters in Israel who are living through incredible difficulties. We’ve all been through a lot in the past few weeks – let’s use this uplifting time of new beginnings to be there for those who could use a fresh start and to appreciate the blessings that are all around us.

If you or someone you know is struggling, contact us anytime.

WEEK ENDING: May 14, 2021
171 New Amudim Cases Opened This Week

Each week, Amudim fields calls covering a wide range of crises and addressing various human concerns, including addiction, depression, abuse, health and domestic emergencies and many others. We track the calls and breakdown of issues for many reasons, foremost of which is to consistently improve and strengthen our knowledge and ability to address community’s needs.

 

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As the rules for traveling to and from Israel are constantly changing, click here for the most current information. We will continue to keep you posted.

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