Our congregation is proud to support Israel in every aspect of its life and culture. To ensure that the members of our congregation understand the importance of Israel to Jews throughout the diaspora, we have created a number of programs that place Temple Shaaray Tefila at the forefront of Israel education in America.
– ISRAEL-LAND: Thanks to a grant from the Legacy Heritage Foundation, we have created an interactive museum that enables congregants to explore Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Masada, the Dead Sea, and kibbutz life through exhibits and hands-on experiences. Admission is always free.
– FEATURED GUEST SPEAKERS: Our proximity to New York City gives us opportunities to host some of Israel’s leading government officials, activists and scholars, who provide their inside perspectives on the issues affecting Israel and Jews throughout the world.
– ISRAEL ACTIVISM: Through a partnership with national Jewish organizations (including AIPAC, AJC, and ADL), Temple Shaaray Tefila helps lobby U.S. lawmakers on the importance of full financial and political support for the Jewish homeland. We invite you to learn more by attending periodic local meetings and AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
At Temple Shaaray Tefila, we seek to strengthen the bond between Israel and our Temple community. Our mission is to extend a hand of friendship to our brethren in Israel and provide support and encouragement.
We are partnered with Kehillat Tzur Hadassah near Jerusalem, Israel as part of the DOMIM-aLike project- the Israel-Diaspora relations project of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism.
DOMIM– aLike was established together with the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. It fosters partnerships between Reform and Progressive congregations in Israel and around the world.
NBA Star: Why I Went To Auschwitz (Thanks to Jeff Stein)
A Good Story About Israelis & Palestinians (Thanks to Rod Feldman)
Israeli Women In Science (Thank You to Rod Feldman)
For more information please contact Dawn Rush
What have we accomplished so far? Here is a list of our activities:
- Donated a medical transport vehicle to SELA.
- Donated a grove of 1000 trees in Israel through JNF.
- Our biggest project: Helped over 80 families of terror survivors and still are helping over 50 of them, still in touch with all via phone calls, letter, birthday and holiday cards, and visits. So far gave in access of $750,000.
- Collected $50,000 – and together with Tel Aviv Foundation built a garden and playground in Yad-Eliyahu, Tel Aviv.
- Donated money to the burn unit at SHIBA Hospital.
- Donated money to Rambam Hospital for a medicine room in the orthopedic Dept, and a new counter for Ram 2 – the military office in the hospital.
- Visited and distributed gifts to tens of children in Rambam Meyer hospital and SHIBA Children’s hospital.
- Donated quilt wall hangings made by our religious school students to SHIBA Hospital – in the entrance to the rehab building, Rambam Hospital – in second floor of Meyer children hospital, to Ben Gurion Middle School in Rishon Lezion, hanging in the bomb shelter which is used for a hot lunch program for needy students.
- Donated money to start the hot lunch program in the school and to install air conditioning in the bomb shelter.
- Hosted 20 students and 3 teachers from that school over Passover vacation, 2006, and on April 6-16, 2008.
- Established a program to exchange videos between our students and the students of Ben Gurion School, through YOU TUBE.
- Donated money to Pina Chama, a food program in Ashdod, supplying sandwiches daily to over 500 needy children.
- Donated money to Dalia Shatz who visits daily with wounded and sick soldiers all over Israel and helping them and their families.
- Donated money to Sarah Zeltzerman, who volunteers in SHIBA Rehab hospital, taking care of wounded soldiers and terror survivors, providing entertainment, outings, holiday celebrations, Shabbat meals for their families and much more.
- Distributed baby quilts made by our students as Bar Mitzvah projects to children in hospitals.
- Helped 2 young men, developmentally challenged, both had no fathers and lost their mothers in a bus explosion, both live in a group home in Jerusalem.
- Hosted an art show of Israeli artists with proceeds donated to the art therapy program of the Kobi Mandell Foundation.
- Had a walkathon with proceeds going to ALIN, helping handicap children (Organized by the religious school).
- Walkathon with proceeds going to Schneider Children Medical Center (Organized by the religious school).
- Donated money to Yeladim, an organization taking care of children in group homes (Organized by the religious school).
- Donated sporting equipment to a MATNAS – youth center in Jerusalem (Organized by Judy Fuhrer).
- Adopted a platoon of 60 soldiers in a special field intelligence unit. Sent fleece jackets for all of them, helped them to buy needed Hiking boots, special ski hats and gloves, and thermal underwear. We keep in touch with them via e-mail. Phone calls, visits, letters and cards. In 2006 the platoon doubled in size to 120 soldiers.
- Donated to Tel Aviv Foundation for special equipment for Beit Venezuela (A day program for youngsters with CP).
- Donated to SHIBA Hospital for special equipment for rehab department.
- Brought a teenage boy, a terror survivor to visit during Hanukah and during summer vacation and provided entertainment, shopping and fun. (private donations)
- Brought a teenage girl, daughter of a terror survivor to visit during Hanukah vacation and three summer vacations. Provided entertainment, beauty treatments, shopping, and fun. (private donations).
- Distributed art work made as Bat Mitzvah projects, to “our” families in Israel.
- Hosted Idan Levi when he visited New York, and bought him a much wanted guitar (private donations).
- Represent the Temple on the board of NOW ISRAEL (Northern Westchester for Israel).
- Participate in the Salute to Israel parade in NYC.
- Donated 8 baby quilts made by Nina Primer and her grandchildren to our families who had newborns.
- During the war in South Lebanon in July 2006, RAMBAM Hospital in Haifa was bombed and was in desperate need of new emergency equipment. We held a Concert for Israel, and due to the generosity of our congregants raised $70,000.
- Helped other congregations to start similar programs in Israel, helping Terror survivors (Wayland, MA, and Poughkeepsie, NY).
- Enabled Kineret Bussani, a terror survivor who was burnt over 80% of her body, and her mother, on two occasions, to stay at a Boston Hotel while going through facial reconstructive surgeries.
- Helped Yinon Cohen while staying in NY to be fitted with new leg prostheses. Enabled him and his companion to go to 2 basketball games, a Broadway show, Big Apple Circus, Neshama Karlibach concert and dinners out (private donations).
- Made special donations to two brides, terror survivors, to provide honorable wedding appearance.
- Paid part of college tuition for Natalie Tavassi, a daughter of a terror survivor.
- Helped Avi Malka, a terror survivor, to pay college debts so he can continue his studies to become a lawyer.
- Joined with 14 other Northern Westchester synagogues, all members of NOW, to collect money to help the people of Sderot, on two occasions.
- Donated to GVANIM.
- Held an Israeli festival celebration event to celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday, April 13, 2008.
- Continue to donate to Sarah Zeltzerman, Tel Hashomer, helping sick and wounded soldiers.
- Published an Israel Action newsletter twice a year – spring and High Holidays, as part of Temple Topics, and High Holiday booklet.
- Through a private donation, helped the Tel Aviv Foundation to furnish music rooms in a school for autistic students.
- Our 4th grade students donated to Birthday Angels so needy children in Israel can have birthday parties.
- Donated to the Migdalor program to help an afterschool program for needy Ethiopian children in Rehovot.
- Hosted Hila Atias, a terminally sick young Israeli, on two occasions, enabling her respite from life at home and hospital.
- Added four needy families from Sderot to our list of recipients.
- Donated money to the Mesila project of the Tel Aviv Foundation, providing day care to children of Sudan/Darfur refugees. The money was raised during the 2008 Labor Day concert and the following three months.
- A group of our members went on a bike ride tour of Israel while raising money towards the Medical Clown program in Meyer Pediatric Hospital. A part of Rambam Hospital. Another trip is planned for 2010.
- Donated funds for a chair lift at the program for CP students in Ben Gurion Middle School.
- Donated funds to Barzilai Hospital for a piece of equipment for first response.
- Our synagogue hosted 7 Israeli teens from the Leo Baeck Institute in Haifa in February 2008, who then joined our teens in Nicaragua for an interfaith work mission. To this day, many of our families continue sustained relationships (and have visited) with these students, who are now all in IDF.
- Donated money to our platoon of soldiers for purchasing hiking boots.
- Supported Zahal Shalom, a program which brings active duty combat officers from the Israel Defense Forces to Northern Westchester to connect with our community.
- Planted a garden on Temple grounds to commemorate “our” Israeli families and Gilad Shalit.
- Installed a playground with bomb shelter in Sderot.
- Sent $25,000 for Café Europa, a program for holocaust survivors in and around Tel Aviv.
- A few Temple member knitters made 40 hats which were delivered to our platoon of soldiers.
- Through private donation, helped Hila Atias to get a dog, helpful to her well being and mental health.
- Established ISRAEL LAND, thanks to a grant, a space whose sole purpose is to enhance the knowledge of, appreciation for, and connection to Israel across all ages in the congregation.
- Supported a two week camp for visually impaired children in Tel Aviv in August 2010.
- Thanks to the effort of the bike riding group, provided support for a home environment center for needy children in Tel Aviv.
- Donated money to JNF to cover planting a grove of 1000 trees to replace some of the trees lost in the Carmel fire in 2010.
- Raised funds for Beit Holland, a day care program for infants through 3 yrs old with CP and other handicaps.
- Donated money for the 2nd time to Tel Aviv Foundation for a two week camp for 50 visually impaired children in Southern Tel Aviv, which we have supported in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
- Provided musical instruments and an ipad to the Gil School for Autistic Children in Tel Aviv.