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How You Can Help Israel
July 31, 2014

It's been a difficult summer in Israel and yet that has not stopped the outpouring of love and support we feel from all around the world.

Nor has it stopped the flow of determined visitors to Jerusalem who keep on coming. Visitors like New York City's former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who popped over just to show his support and to prove his belief that "Ben Gurion Airport is the best protected airport in the world." Read more ...

Just last week, Israel Tech Challenge brought over 25 young professionals from around the world for visits to Israel's hi-tech sector that ended with a 24-hour hackathon in Paypal's basement. Read more ... (And in the interest of full disclosure, the Aussie programmer quoted in the Jerusalem Post article's header is my cousin.)

As you see, in many ways, things go on as normally as possible. We certainly try hard to keep it that way.

How You Can Help Israel

Not all of us can be on the front lines, defending our country, but we can all help in our own way. Here's a list of 10 things you can do to help Israel in her hour of need:

  • Adopt a soldier to protect through your acts of kindness and prayer. The Shmira Project matches participants up with an IDF soldier's name. Participants dedicate their acts of kindness and prayers to the safety of "their" soldier. It's free to sign and the sense of personal connection generated is priceless.

  • Pray for our troops. The traditional prayer for the defenders of our country can be found here.

  • Send donations or care packages to our soldiers. There's been such a deluge of homemade meals and clean underwear being delivered to the front lines by civilians that the IDF has asked that future donations be made only through the official Libi Fund.

  • Support our lone soldiers. Young men and women who leave their families behind to come volunteer for the IDF, ready to risk their lives to defend the Holy Land, especially need our support. They have no family here and need a home away from home. The Lone Soldier Center provides that and a little extra nurturing for them.

  • Help save lives by supporting United Hatzalah, Israel's volunteer emergency and paramedic services.

  • Provide some fun and entertainment for special-needs children who desperately need a break from the constant barrage of missile attacks and terror. Donations can be made either to our charity fund for special-needs children or through IYIM's Project fun.

  • Buy Israeli. Shop blue & white to support the Israeli economy.

  • Stay informed. Get your facts right with reliable news sources such as Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and Honest Reporting.

  • Send a prayer to the Wall. Even now, we are here to deliver your prayers to the Western Wall in Jerusalem for you. (Your prayers are strictly confidential and are deleted from our system as soon as they are delivered to the Wall.) This is a free service that we consider a privilege to provide. Jewish tradition, however, teaches that prayer and charity, together, have the power to change Divine decrees. So please consider super-charging your prayer with a donation to our charity fund for disabled children in Jerusalem. Your donation, however small, will help provide much needed services, therapy and medications for severely disabled children in Jerusalem, and this difficult time, a chance to play and laugh, too.

  • And of course ...

Come to Israel!

There's nothing like coming here to show your support. (By the way, techies take note - Israel Tech Challenge mentioned above is taking applications until September 10, 2014 for a free trip in December.)

In the spirit of fighting darkness with joy, happiness and zany normalcy wherever possible, here's a rundown of August's top Jerusalem events. The Woodstock Revival festival which was cancelled last month is back on, this time scheduled for August 21. It shares the month with the yearly Arts and Crafts fair at Sultan's Pool, the Beer Festival and the International Puppet Theater Festival. Click here for details.

Jerusalem Scavenger Hunts are running two "open" scavenger hunts in the Old City this month. We can't recommend this activity enough. You’ll discover things about Jerusalem you never knew – no matter how long you might have lived here! It’s lots of fun and a fabulous educational activity for older kids and teens. Preregister here, so don't miss your chance!

Most of our website visitors are planning to come to Jerusalem within the next 12 months. It's not too early to start making plans. Our tour guides are booking up fast, not only for August, but already for the Fall holiday period. So if you're looking at a September or October trip to Jerusalem, now is the time to arrange for your tour guide or book a Jerusalem Walking Tour.

Getting to Know You

We'd like to know you better. It's our goal to help you plan an awesome journey through Jerusalem and to do that even better, we'd like to know what we can do to provide you with more of what you're really looking for.

Would you please take a moment to answer 10 short questions in order to help us do that? We'd really appreciate it!

Click here to take our survey.

To thank you for taking the survey (and even if you don't take the survey, in which case it is to thank you for reading our newsletter!) here's a free copy of the traditional Traveler's Prayer - Tefillas Haderech - in English and Hebrew. It's in pdf format and you can download it here.

May all your journeys be safe and beautiful.
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