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Telfed Tiyulim: Serving our Soldiers

Our Telfed tiyulim are all about enabling especially South African olim, particularly the newer ones, to have an opportunity to see and learn about Israel. The Tiyul Team believe that our outings have been – and will continue to be – interesting & successful. One of these tiyulim proved to be particularly meaningful and has had a welcome spinoff for our soldiers. The tiyul in question was our “Solidarity with the South” visit on 12 December 2018 to Sderot and a few communities in the Gaza periphery region that had been suffering from ongoing rocket attacks. One such community we visited was Moshav Sde Nitzan and an excerpt of the article I wrote after that visit follows.

“Joe and Eve Isaacson (residents of Sde Nitzan) are also members of a volunteer group that has established a kiosk at a nearby public transport hub which serves the Eshkol region. This kiosk provides hot and cold drinks as well as sandwiches for soldiers who are passing through on their way home or back to base after time off. The volunteer group makes 150 sandwiches daily, starting at five every morning, providing a most valuable and welcome service for soldiers who have the difficult task of ensuring the security of the region and its inhabitants. We presented them with a heat wrapping machine so that the sandwiches can remain fresh in a sealed plastic wrapping. The cost of the wrapping machine was sponsored by former South African, Eric Jacobson, who although currently resident in the United States, was in Israel for a visit and joined us on this memorable tiyul.”

Following that visit Eric Jacobson kindly agreed to sponsor the ongoing purchase of rolls of plastic wrap for the machine, which he has been doing since the visit in December 2018. Joe Isaacson recently visited the supplier to collect a new supply of plastic rolls where he saw a range of very hygienic and practical coffee / hot chocolate dispensers.  He contacted tiyul committee chairman Joel Klotnick to enquire about a possible sponsor to purchase these very useful dispensers. One phone call from Joel to Eric Jacobson was all it took and the man with the biggest heart in town immediately agreed to sponsor the dispensers pictured below. These are far more hygienic than having to spoon coffee and sugar from containers that are often left open, particularly at a time when we must all be on the alert to prevent the unnecessary transfer of lurking viruses that may be around.

Eric is a frequent visitor to Israel and on his last visit he attended the Netanya launch of my new book, “Men of Valor”, at an Israeli Defense Forces event celebrating the work done by AWIS (Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers). The book was launched at that event as 50% of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be going to AWIS once the initial publishing cost has been covered. More importantly, since attending the book launch, Eric Jacobson has become an AWIS sponsor as well as being active in marketing my book in the United States.

Just goes to show that besides the Telfed tiyulim being enjoyed by participants, they can also have wider beneficial results.

The Tiyul Team is planning another “Solidarity with the South” visit for the end of March to communities that we have not previously visited. These communities have again been under rocket fire in the past month and we will once again be distributing toys to the children who suffer traumatic disruptions to their daily routine.

Look out for the invite for this tiyul, in the coming week.


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