The SonShine Foundation will deliver mishloah manot, food items traditionally given on Purim, to Diaspora Jews beginning on February 29.
The initiative is intended to strengthen the relationship between Israeli and Diaspora Jews, the foundation said in a press release. Volunteers will work at Ben-Gurion Airport next to the Steimatzky bookstore.
This is the fourth year the foundation is offering the sweet connection, and packages are delivered to over 80 countries, it said.
The parents of Gil-Ad Shaer decided to spread a message of hope and unity among Israeli and Diaspora Jews after Palestinian terrorists kidnapped their son and two other teenagers in 2014.
Gil-Ad Shaer’s mother, Bat-Galim Shaer, released the book Expecting My Child in 2018. It describes the struggles her family endured and the support she received from other Israelis and Jews around the world.
“I come to some shifts to cheer up the volunteers,” Bat-Galim Shaer told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. They seek to get in touch with about 100 people willing to spread their message of optimism, she said.
“We give out 2,500 mishloah manot,” Shaer said. “We give them to the Israelis departing, and they take a picture with the first Jewish person they meet – to whom they give it.”
Many of those people, who are strangers to the Israelis giving them the gifts, are delighted to learn people in Israel remembered them.
Shaer said this is in the spirit of the holiday, as Purim tells the story of how, despite being in exile, the Jewish people were able to reunite and seek out their own salvation.
“Our goal is to strengthen optimism in Israeli society by offering connections in this country and abroad,” she said.
Mishloah manot are usually filled with sweets, such as hamentashen, a triangular filled cookie.
The foundation is working on other projects in a similar spirit, including: “double birthdays,” in which Jews in Israel and abroad will reach out to one another based on a mutual birthday; and establishing a Jewish trail, which would allow people to learn about Jewish heritage outside the country.
Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, Nafatli Fraenkel,16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in 2014.
The kidnapping led to Operation Brother’s Keeper, during which Israeli security forces arrested 350 Palestinians and many West Bank Hamas leaders. Israeli forces killed the kidnappers, Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aysha, during a shootout in Hebron.