We started hearing them trying to break the wall with heavy equipment. I understood this was my last day on earth. No one was going to save us. Our poor children were in the twilight zone, between crashing from exhaustion, waking up, and crashing again. My son told me – 'Mommy, I don't want to die today.' I told him, 'At least we are together. You are not alone.' I feared they would enter, and I would see the terror in my children's eyes. It had been several hours when I took a hard look at my life and I said to myself that I was very scared, but that it was okay – all in all, I had a good life. I did a Heshbon Nefesh, and I wanted to make peace with the fact that there was nothing I could do, that I was going to die, and I wanted to be thankful for everything. I sent goodbye messages to my family and friends."
- Sofie Berzon Mackie, a survivor of the Kibbutz Be'eri massacre, who was trapped for 20 hours with her family.
Tomorrow will mark one week since the most devastating day in the history of Israel, with countless stories like Sofie's, with some who will never have a survivor to tell them.
Time feels suspended because we're overwhelmed with grief, shock, and unimaginable pain. Israel, being a small country, means we all know someone affected by this tragedy, whether through loss, injury, or kidnapping.
Since last Saturday, when we learned the heartbreaking extent of the casualties among soldiers, civilians, and festivalgoers, we've sprung into action. Our dedicated nonprofits, like the Center for Jewish Impact, SASA Setton, and Alumot OR, have teamed up with partners such as the Russian Jewish Congress, Discount Bank, and compassionate private donors.
Together, we're providing vital medical equipment to overwhelmed hospitals in southern Israel. This equipment is a lifeline for the thousands of injured individuals who have arrived at their doors, often with nothing. We're also supplying essential hygiene kits to hundreds of hospitalized patients, brightening the lives of children with donated games, and opening our proprietary online educational activities available to all children in Israel, free of charge. There's one heart-wrenching story of a child with autism on the Gaza border who lost his entire family – we've stepped in to offer immediate financial and technological support.
In less than 72 hours, we've rallied together to raise over 3.5 million NIS, but the demands are far greater.
As we move forward, our focus will be on addressing the specific needs of mainly children and women in the areas that were most profoundly affected.
Your support has the power to save lives. If you wish to be a part of our ongoing efforts, you can donate here* and we encourage you to share with your circles:
Or directly to our bank accounts:
Account Name: American Friends of Alumot OR, SASA Setton & CFJI Bank: Chase Address: 1129 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407 Account Number: 732896250 Routing Number: 072000326 Swift: CHASUS33
Center for Jewish Impact (R.A), IBAN: IL600108110000025130032
Leumi Bank, Routing IL010, 811
*Please note that we are a registered nonprofit both in the US and Israel for tax purposes
For more info: https://www.jewish-impact.org/swords-of-iron-support