An organization blunting the pain of this tragic pandemic

We must not abandon the needs of those living in the settlements.

Protective medical equipment delivered by COGAT into Gaza (photo credit: COGAT SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Protective medical equipment delivered by COGAT into Gaza
(photo credit: COGAT SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
The effort and money provided by One Israel Fund has blunted the pain of this tragic pandemic for Jews living in Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley as well as those in the Western Negev near the Gaza Strip. For those unfamiliar with this organization, One Israel Fund has raised over 65 million dollars over the past quarter century to fill in the gaps that are needed for both the survival and betterment of the lives of those living in these areas.
While school has been suspended and life as we all previously knew has ceased, the playgrounds that One Israel Fund established have been essential to the well-being of Jewish families. And while the synagogues they sponsored may be closed, the mikvaot (ritual bathhouses) are still open on a limited basis to allow some semblance of normal life to prevail. Moreover, the pinot chamot (soldier hospitality centers) that they have built for the IDF soldiers have proven more important than ever. These soldiers, most of whom are college age young men and women, need a place to unwind and relax and volunteers have been stocking them with coffee and snacks. At some, IDF soldiers are even able to access them on their own through an electronic code.
We must not abandon the needs of those living in the settlements.  These brave people are living on land that was originally Jewish and are preserving this land for future generations of Jews.  With anti-Semitism on the rise around the entire world, the communities in Judea and Samaria might prove crucial for the housing needs of our children and grandchildren who may seek aliyah out of not just choice, but necessity in the future.
Although the average Jew and Palestinian do often work together and shop at the same places, sadly these Jewish communities are still under constant threat of attack. That is why the work of One Israel Fund’s director of security projects, Marc Provisor, is so crucial. He works closely with local and regional civilian security chiefs, the IDF Homefront Command, as well as the Ministry of Defense to see to it that they get what they need. One Israel Fund is renowned for filling in gaps in providing vital security needs, oftentimes with matching funds from the government. From sophisticated surveillance and communication equipment to enhancements to patrol vehicles to specialized armored vests, Provisor is well known for devising unique solutions to keeping these communities safe.
In fact, Provisor has recently been inspirational in the development of the Armadillo Protective Blanket Shield. This life-saving device enables those in the south of the country, who cannot get to a bomb shelter fast enough when under rocket attack, to shield themselves from shrapnel that can maim or kill.
With COVID-19 on everyone’s mind, many will want to give thanks for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that One Israel Fund has raised for the various lifesaving medical equipment and ambulances, both standard and armored.
Unfortunately, medical services throughout the Binyamin region are severely limited in both accessibility and the quality and scope of care. We have to pray that during the coming months that this plague will not spread throughout this region. One Israel Fund has been working in conjunction with the Binyamin Regional Council to create a state-of-the-art medical facility. If only it could have been open already!!! However, when this crisis is done and as soon as the funds are raised, not only will the Binyamin Medical Center be a high tech hospital providing top notch urgent care, it will also house an array of specialty care, a pharmacy and a place for people to go for diagnostic testing.
Even though the world is under incredible stress and there are needs of many, my hope is that those who care about our Israeli brothers and sisters living on the front lines, will not abandon them in their time of need because as the Talmud says: He who saves just one life saves the entire world.

Andrew Milstein is a pro-Israel activist and entrepreneur.