Nitzan from Kibbutz Holit on the southern Gaza bordered arrived at Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon as a refugee, leaving the immediate physical danger but still carrying the trauma of the attacks on 7th October. “Several of my immediate neighbours on Holit were killed,” he told us.  In the weeks leading up to our meeting, we were told that he has hardly been out of his room and that this was the first time they had seen a smile on his face. We had come to visit Nitzan and give him, and 40 of the evacuees, brand-new laptops so that they could continue to learn and work in their temporary location.

Telfed representatives Nava Lapid and Dave Bloom found it heart-warming to meet with tens of evacuees on both Kibbutz Givat Haim (Ichud) and Mishmar Hasharon and hear their first-hand experiences. We met the Reichman family from Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra on the Lebanese border with their two teenage children.  Doreen Shani from Kibbutz Gvaram on the Gaza border with her two children.  We heard from the Goldenberg family from Moshav Yated in the Eshkol council on the border with Gaza. We also spoke at length with Dana Levy-Tavor, a former staff member of Telfed, from Gvaram who is staying with her parents and she described in detail the horrific events of the 7th October and how close their kibbutz came to being attacked by the Hamas terrorists. Many of her friends from Gvaram were being hosted by Kibbutz Givat Haim, living in cramped conditions but grateful for the support and warmth of their fellow kibbutznikim.

It was clear that they had evacuated on the 7th and 8th October from their homes with literally the “shirts on their backs” and fellow citizens were helping to make their lives as comfortable as possible. The coordinator at Mishmar Hasharon, Ruthie, showed us a room filled with clothing and house utensils collected for the evacuees and she told us they were not short of anything. Her kibbutz provided meals to all the evacuees with help from other donations.

The laptops from Telfed were received with immense gratitude and we took the opportunity to tell them how the funds to purchase the computers came from the Goldberg Family Trust fund from Zimbabwe which was setup over 30 years ago to support victims of terror.  Telfed has carefully managed the fund over the years and maintained its value which has enabled us to distribute the laptops, warm clothing for soldiers and respond practically to many other requests for support during the current war.

“Everyone is doing their best and we were proud to show how Telfed is stepping up to the challenges we all face,” said Telfed’s Chief Operating Office Nava Lapid.