Impressed with the outpouring of letters of support to New Yorkers following the 9-11 attacks, a local rabbinical student studying in Israel has organized a similar effort for Israelis. In three months it has triggered 13,000 cards of support.
"I won’t give up if you don’t give up," said a handwritten card from a youngster named Moshe.
"Dear Israel," wrote 8-year-old Jared from New York, "I watch the news every day. I pray for Israel when I walk from my house to my school and sometimes I cry. I wish I could come to help, but I’m only a kid."
Dana Rone Saroken, 31, a student at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, said she began the campaign by sending an e-mail to 300 friends a week after the Passover massacre killed 29 Jews in Netanya. She asked that they send cards and drawings to her at the institute at P.O. Box 8600, Jerusalem, Israel 91083. The recipients forwarded the e-mail to other friends and cards started pouring in.
"I’m profoundly moved by the response," she said. "It’s extraordinary how our community has come together. Some kids have sent their e-mail addresses, and I will try to connect them with Israeli children here. I think personal relationships are a way to have stronger ties between diaspora Jews and Israelis."
Linda Price, director of public relations for the Schechter Institute, said the letters have been affixed to poster boards and will hang in stores whose income have been hurt by Palestinian terrorist attacks, as well as in the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. In addition, she said the Institute had a printer make-up 24 posters featuring a collage of letters that the bus station will hang for the next month at every main floor entrance and departure gate. The Egged Bus Company is also considering placing them at other central bus stations in the country and on the back of each bus, she said.
For further information, contact Saroken and her husband, Rafi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.