Stories from Neve Tzuf & How We Fight Fire with Fashion – ShopIsrael

It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago the country was dealing with the terrifying spread of fires across the country. Many of the communities are still feeling the tragedy as they begin to pick up the pieces and rebuild their communities.

The story doesn’t end there it only begins…An incredible initiative was started by a group of seminary girls learning in Israel for the year to find a way to raise money for the victims of the fires. The first meeting took place with a group of 10 girls at the home of Chaya Bina Katz, the Director of Development at Matan, with the founders of Skye Green Fashion and myself from Fun In Jerusalem. We brainstormed ways to create a fun and exciting event that would ultimately be a fundraiser and that is how “Fight Fire with Fashion – ShopIsrael” was created.

Showcasing local Israeli vendors, the fair will sell gift & food items for Hanukkah raising money for the communities of Neve Tzuf and Beit Meir. The event will take place on Monday December 19 at the First Station from 6:00pm-10:00pm. There will be a First Station Scavenger Hunt run by Israel ScaVentures, live music & entertainment by Holy Simchas and Comic Cards by Barbatoonz. We would like to thank the entertainers for donating their time to this worthy cause.

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Here is a little bit of information about the communities we will be helping.

The Community of Neve Tzuf

In order to get a better understanding of the damage and how we can help, Amanda Jedwab from Midreshet Lindenbaum spoke to Gady Buiumsohn, the head of the fire relief campaign for the community.

Gaby reported that the fires started to break out at 10:30pm on Friday night. The people living in the community (300 families) were told to evacuate. 90% of the people left but a few local firefighters stayed behind. Because Neve Tzuf had a large amount of homes that were built completely out of wood, they went up in flames very quickly leaving nothing behind except the cement foundations. In total, 21 families have been left without their homes and basic necessities like clothes, school books, hats, gloves, etc.

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In fact once they were allowed back into the community many of the families realized they had to go out and get new ketubot, drivers licenses and credit cards because the original documents & cards were all burned in the fire.

Stories of Survival & Loss

There is one family in the community who had a special grandfather antique clock. The story behind the clock was that the owners grandfather who lived in Bnei Brak was a yeshiva student. The custom at that time was that yeshiva students ate all of their meals at different homes in the community. One Shabbos, he was in a specific house and while they were eating, they heard a loud bang. The grandfather clock fell and landed on top of a baby in a crib. The baby was fine b’h.

After the traumatic experience the parents told the yeshiva student that the reason the baby was not hurt was because they had a tzadik in their house over Shabbos. On Motzei Shabbos, the family gave the clock to the student and he later passed it down to his grandson in Neve Tzuf. Unfortunately the clock was completely burned in the fire but the family got out of the house in time and survived.

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Another story of survival took place in the shul. 3 out of 4 shuls in the community were engulfed in flames. The day after the fire the community members came to check on the last remaining shul and found all of the Sifrei Torah on the floor with tallissim over them. Gaby described it as an eerie sight.

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How can Neve Tzuf use the money we will raise?

According to Gady there are basic needs that need to be addressed. Clothing, school books, knapsacks, pencil cases, cellphones, computers, hair brushes & small every day necessities.

He told Amanda a story of how he received a call from the Rebbetzin on the first Erev Shabbat after the fire asking him to get kiddush cups and candlesticks for Shabbos for the victims.

The list of necessities goes on to winter clothing, medicine for senior citizens and machinery. According to Gady the government will be giving 600 shekel to each child which will barely cover what they need to replace. Come to the event at First Station on Monday December 19 to hear more stories from Neve Tzuf community members and to give them support.

Community of Beit Meir

We also plan to support the families in the community of Beit Meir who were also affected by the fires and forced to leave their community in the middle of the night. In this case the exit road for the yishuv was blocked with fire and the local firefighters spent hours clearing a path for residents to use to leave. As they drove out of the community with fire on both sides of their cars the fear was tangible.

A special thank you!

It is incredible to see how people from all different backgrounds with different skills and resources can come together to create an event that is all about giving and helping. I am deeply honored to have been part of this important mission.

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Thank you to the following seminary girls for their help in creating this event.

Midreshet Lindenbaum
Amanda Jedwab
Malkie Zeidman
Sara Okner

Michlala
Chanie Schonfeld

Tiferet
Eliana  Winker
Rachel Packer

MTVA
Molly Liefer

Shalavim
Sara Levinson

Midreshet Moria
Shoshana Skydell
Talya Zuller

Who you can expect to see at the Fight Fire with Fashion ShopIsrael Fair December 19th 6:00pm-10:00pm at First Station –

You can help support the victims of the fires from abroad. Read More

For more information about this special event contact Joanna at joanna@funinjerusalem.com

About the Author
Joanna Shebson runs Fun In Jerusalem, a Jerusalem tourism website that inspires family fun & Party in Jerusalem inspiring families to celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvas in Israel. She and her husband made aliyah in 2007 from Los Angeles and love living in Jerusalem with their three kids. Joanna has an MBA from Kellogg Business School and is known for thinking out of the box especially when entertaining her kids.
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