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Middlesex/Monmouth Community Bomb Shelter in Halutza

Anne/Adrian Kroll

Anne/Adrian Kroll

Shavua Tov!
Anne Kroll's D'var Torah:

In this week’s Parsha, Miketz, Pharaoh summons Yosef to explain his dreams. Yosef explains that both dreams mean there will be seven years of plenty in Egypt followed by seven years of famine. The seven years of famine will be so severe that they will erase all memory of the years of plenty. So, I began to think about memory. Childhood memories to be exact.

Childhood memories that my husband Adrian recalls of the smell of Shabbat dinners that his mother used to cook that filled his home, roasted chicken, and potatoes. The smells of my Sunday family dinner, Homemade pasta with meatballs and gravy (aka-tomato sauce). If you close your eyes, you can still taste it and no matter how good of a cook you become you will never duplicate it.

Childhood memories of going shopping with my mother and grandmother and rooftop parking, it was a novelty in 1968. Childhood memories of holding my father’s hand as he walked me to the day camp, they offered at Bristol Meyers Squibb where he worked. He would just beam with pride from ear to ear when he would introduce his little girl to his coworkers.

Then I began to think about the childhood memories that a child in Israel will have after October 7th.

The sounds of the sirens going off and trying to run into our family’s safe room before the terrorists broke into our home. The visions and screams that echo in my head after witnessing my Eema being raped in front of our family as the beasts even broke her pelvic bone before killing her. The sounds of the barbarians murdering my Abba in front of me. The feel and smell of my Savta’s and Saba’s blood. Trying to grieve the loss of my parents and grandparents while being held in captivity. The countless months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds of being held hostage. Never knowing if I would ever be released, while constantly being tortured and beaten. Wondering what happened to my baby brother and baby sister.

Holocaust survivors know it all too well that those psychological and emotional scars will last forever even with the most sophisticated of PTSD therapies and treatments.

As the war enters its 10th week, Israelis try to put their scars behind them and return to their communities. One such community is Halutza in the Negev. For two decades, Israelis who live on the boarder with Gaza, known as the Gaza Envelope region, have endured continual attacks from the bordering Gaza Strip – rockets, incendiary balloons, and more. The community of Halutza is only 4.3 miles from the Gaza Strip. On October 7th, their lives were changed forever. Due to their proximity to Gaza, the surviving brave residents of Halutza were evacuated from their homes, without knowing when they would be able to return. They left behind their hopes and dreams, but their spirit was not broken. They need to return home so that they can go back to school and work, which will restore some sort of normalcy back into their lives and help heal the scars. Halutza is home to Israel's largest dairy farm and without its staff production will cease not to mention how the barbaric attacks of Oct 7 and the ongoing war continues to devastate Israel’s economy.

One of the most important responsibilities of being a Jew is a sense of Jewish memory. Jewish memory is not just individual, it is communal. As a community, let us create meaningful memories out of these horrific times as we help our brothers and sisters in Eretz Israel by building an additional bomb shelter for the residents of Halutza, named the Middlesex/Monmouth Community Bomb Shelter. Won't you please join us in this wonderful mitzvah and support our campaign to ensure that they are protected. Restoring their sense of safety and confidence is our top priority. Adrian, and I, through Jewish National Fund USA and donations from you can make this dream become a memory of how we helped by building an additional bomb shelter. We personally thank all of you that have donated to this campaign already or previous campaigns since October 7th. Bomb shelters provide protection from rockets that besiege families in the region. Another childhood memory of Adrian’s is the JNF-USA pushka or blue box. Since 1901 Jewish National Fund -USA has not only planted over 26O million trees but continues to stand true to their passion, commitment, and vision for the future of Israel and the Jewish people. It remains clear and unwavering. One of JNF-USA’s numerous initiatives is Blueprint Negev,

Its goal is to improve the quality of life for all Israelis, focusing on the livability of the Gaza envelope communities. Building bomb shelters calms the residents by ensuring that safety is always within reach.

A roadside shelter protects up to fifteen residents with a real floor, day, or night. It provides essential shelter for residents when they are not near their home– the park, playground, bus stop, driving to work, etc.

*COST-$50,000.00 per shelter

* NEED: 6 Roadside shelters

Whatever meaningful amount you can donate will make a difference. After Shabbat, I ask you to log onto our webpage or drop off or mail a check to the office made out to JNF-USA.

I do not have to tell you how important Israel is to the Jewish people, nor do I have to explain to you that we haven’t any friends out there (The UN, government officials, college presidents, the media). And if you happen to stumble across a friend out there, they are exceedingly rare. Without a strong Israel, antisemitism will continue to rise even more, and every Jew worldwide is in danger. One of the latest reports according to YouGov/ The Economist published last Thursday is that one fifth of young Americans ages 18-29 believe that the Holocaust is a myth. According to the polling results, young Americans hold more anti-Jewish sentiment than any other group. This same age group disagrees with the statement that Israel has a right to exist. These statistics are truly clear as to how horrifying antisemitism will be for the next generation.

Since 1948, we have vowed to never forget. Having amnesia and betraying the survivors a second time is not an option. “Jews do not have history, we have memory! While history is about what happened in the past, memory is about how that past drives our present and our future. It is all about action! That is why the verb that appears most in our prayers is Z’chor. Zecher, Zicharon Remember, remember, remember. During the Passover Seder, we do not teach our children that our ancestors came out of Egypt. We teach them that each person must see oneself as if he or she personally came out of Egypt. Our challenge as a Jew is how do you take this collective memory of our people and make it a part of your life. This is a moment to reaffirm our Jewish commitments. Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Ba’Zeh, the entire Jewish world, is intertwined with one another. 

So, I ask you to please make your meaningful donation after Shabbat by logging onto my.jnf.org/halutza/MiddlesexMonmouthBombShelter.

Thank you to all of you, and to those on live stream or zoom and thank you to the Rabbi for sharing your bimah with me today. Am Yisrael Chai!

Feel free to call me with any questions at 732-735-1616


We are on our way to raising enough for a second bomb shelter!

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$59,472
raised of $100,000 goal
 

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Team Middlesex/Monmouth NJ Bomb Shelter

$61,272
$50,000