Oct 19, 2023  By David Pollack  Category: Blueprint Negev,

On My Way to Israel

I am traveling to Israel to help out as a civilian volunteer on a farm in the town of Be’er Milka.  It is roughly 20 miles southeast of the Egyptian/Gaza Rafah crossing. Most of the farmers in Israel have been called up to military service and there is a great concern that the crops will wither and die if they are not harvested and properly cared for during these difficult times. I have volunteered with an organization called HaShomer HaChadash, a Jewish National Fund-USA partner, which oversees the security and other needs of farmers in 47 farming communities in the southern and northern parts of Israel. 

I am headed down to assist a farmer with his vineyards, olive trees, and other assorted vegetables so that the food supply in Israel and the farmers’ livelihoods can be preserved.  As I was checking in at the EL AL counter yesterday at JFK airport in NY, with seven duffel bags donated by various members of the American Jewish community filled with bulletproof vests, long john underwear, socks, assorted hygiene items and various sundry things that soldiers need on the front line, I was interviewed by an EL AL security guard named Einav. She told me that her cousin is on the frontline waiting to go into Gaza and she was very thankful that I was headed to Israel to help out in any way I could. She whisked me through security with all my bags, even though I was way over my bag allotment as she understood that we are all together and must pitch in to help each other in any way we can. I am sitting on a plane, an EL AL plane which probably carries 350 passengers and it is entirely full with young couples, families, older people, middle-aged people, men, women, religious, and nonreligious, all headed back to their homeland to the help their people and it is quite a thing to witness. I am grateful for this opportunity and I will report further when I land in Israel as I begin our journey. 


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Thank you to David Pollack, a civilian volunteer from New York, for sharing his experiences in Israel this past week.