During these challenging times, numerous activists from Israel and around the world have come together to provide relief for the people of Israel affected by Hamas's barbaric October 7 attack. Ynetnews has highlighted some of the most touching initiatives.
Teva, Israel's largest pharmaceutical and healthcare company, which is responsible for the supply of approximately 35% of the medicines in the State of Israel, has allocated significant resources and is undertaking every effort possible to support, strengthen, and help the country. With incredibly difficult and challenging times being faced by residents of the south of Israel, IDF soldiers, the victims of terrorism, and of course the thousands of Teva employees, the company has begun implementing a number of important initiatives.
One of the main initiatives is a moving collaboration between Teva and the Pitchon-Lev charity – which includes the collection of equipment for IDF soldiers. Collection points have been established across all of Teva’s five sites across Israel – enabling all employees to donate. The equipment is collected by Pitchon-Lev volunteers, who ensure its rapid delivery to the field. So far - over 1.5 tons of equipment have been collected.
In addition to providing equipment for the IDF and in light of an immediate need, Teva has also donated its Nutrilon baby formula via Pitchon-Lev which will pass it along to those families most in need.
In order to further support the State of Israel, Teva is strengthening its cooperation with the Haverim Le’Refuah organization – increasing the number of medicines donated whilst at the same time ensuring that significant supply-demand increases for hospitals, pharmacies and patients are met across the country. This is achieved against a backdrop of a significant number of Teva’s employees having been called up to serve in the IDF reserves.
In addition, a number of trained Teva employees are assisting in sorting and dispensing medical supplies and equipment. As well as donating medicines, baby formula and equipment for IDF soldiers – the company, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the Mitcashvim charity, has transferred and will continue to transfer hundreds of computers and laptops to families evacuated from their homes in the south and north of the country.
Teva has also committed to strengthening the operations of Magen David Adom and Natal (Israel Trauma and Resilience Centre) by making a significant contribution to support their need to purchase equipment and strengthen their support systems.
During these challenging times, Teva and its partners will continue to support and assist the people of Israel and patients up and down the country, whilst looking out for the safety, security and wellbeing of Teva’s employees and their families.
The free-of-charge 'store'
Two ultra-Orthodox businessmen from the U.S. have been quietly working behind the scenes, assisting hundreds of southern Israel residents who have been displaced since the outbreak of the war.
At the war's onset, Yossi Hamer from Long Island, who quickly traveled to Israel after the holiday and has previously assisted southern residents, met businessman David Hager, a board member of the Netzach association. The duo rented over 200 rooms at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem, accommodating 620 evacuees from the Gaza border region.
Both praised the hotel's management, highlighting that Ortal Noach Muallem, the hotel's CEO, went above and beyond to meet the needs of the new guests. She established a complimentary "store" with donations from the public, offering new clothes for all ages, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, diapers and baby food. Additionally, the hotel arranges activities for the entire family. "Ortal is a unique combination of a hotel CEO and a woman with a heart of gold," says Hager.
Additionally, Hamer and Hager heard about a boy named Ariel from Netivot who was supposed to celebrate his bar mitzvah last Thursday. Two days prior, a classmate of his was killed, and on Wednesday, his house was destroyed by a rocket strike.
On Saturday night, they organized a celebration for Ariel, accompanied by young men from the Aderet HaTorah Yeshiva who came to uplift the boy with a band. For a family of 18 from Sderot whose house was destroyed and who arrived at the hotel with only one bag of remaining belongings, Hamer, with the help of friends, personally funded the purchase of new clothes.
Furthermore, Hager swiftly organized a supply drive for the soldiers. He has already distributed thousands of soft-shell jackets to help with rain and cold, fleeces, neck warmers, undershirts, underwear, winter trousers, thousands of pairs of socks, flashlights, weapon straps, hydration packs, and even hot, kosher mehadrin meals for ultra-Orthodox soldiers.
Hamer emphasizes that in times like these, everyone is in the same boatץ "I see ultra-Orthodox volunteerism at every corner. Ultra-Orthodox girls have come to babysit the children of the border residents, Hasidim distributed luxury packages with personal blessings, and other charitable individuals from the ultra-Orthodox sector arrived with clothes and asked how they could help."
Medicines for those in need
Haverim Le'Refuah is soliciting donations to make sure no Israeli has to make the heartbreaking choice between medicine and food, especially in these times of national emergency.
For donations call (+972) 35777666 or visit their website.
Europe can not forget the abductees
Since the outbreak of the war in Israel, Michal Oshman, a resident of London for the past 20 years, along with her husband, began efforts for international advocacy. As part of their activities, they initiated a project to expose the faces and names of the many abductees taken brutally to Gaza, displaying posters all over Europe.
"It's essential that the world sees their faces, knows their names, and understands their unimaginable suffering," says Oshman. They are collaborating with the project's initiators in New York. Tens of thousands of posters have been hung throughout Europe.
Providing information to the international community
A special project by YNET and ACT NEWS, founded by Miri Michaeli and Moshe Klughaft, presents informational videos created using artificial intelligence in multiple languages. The films underwent automatic translation, editing, and dubbing, and are intended for distribution in English, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Arabic and French.
The creators of the project said, "Providing information is a matter of life and death, plain and simple. The world is exposed to horrors, but mediation is often lacking, and we face powerful propaganda machines. The endurance of the IDF is also dependent on global support, and therefore we urge everyone who can share in any language to convey the message. If we don't explain ourselves, no one else will."
Tech giant helps Magen David Adom
Tech giant Oracle Corporation has pledged a donation of 1 million USD to Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service. Additionally, Oracle has initiated a global fundraising drive for Magen David Adom among its employees. The company has encouraged its 150,000 global employees to contribute, promising to match any amount raised without a cap. As of Monday, Oracle employees have contributed over 200,000 USD.
Oracle is actively supporting its hundreds of employees in Israel through these challenging times. This includes southern residents and those called up for reserve duty, offering them a range of assistance.
According to Eran Feigenbaum, CEO of Oracle Israel, "Oracle stands with Israel in its uncompromising fight against terrorism. We are making available to the state and security agencies a variety of Oracle's technological capabilities, and are also launching a fundraising campaign to help Magen David Adom in its rescue and relief efforts."
Ultra Orthodox purchased supplies for IDF soldiers
Several Hasidim belonging to the renowned Belz Hasidic dynasty purchased supplies for IDF soldiers stationed on the front line. A video of the group was circulating online, showing them with several shopping carts filled to the brim with supplies for the troops and they can be seen presenting a several-feet-long receipt.
Long lines for blood donations
Israelis have been responding to calls to donate blood and items needed by the residents of the south. Thousands have shown up at impromptu collection centers set up by citizens to bring essential equipment for babies, blankets, clothes and food, while others lined up for hours to donate blood at the Tel Aviv Ichilov hospital.
The Health Ministry called on the public to continue blood donations. The ministry's Dir. Gen. Moshe Bar Siman Tov said he was moved by the public response. "It exhibits Israeli unity," he said as he too donated blood.
Donations can be made at:
- The Sheba Medical Center Blood bank (10 am to 8 pm)
- The Petach Tikva Sportan (12 pm to 9 pm)
- Congress Center, Haifa ( 1 pm to 8 pm)
- Carmiel Cultural Hall (2 pm to 9 pm)
- Big Danilof Mall, Tiberias (2 pm to 8 pm)
- Beit Glazer, Kiryat Atat (12 pm to 8 pm)
Hospitals said on Monday that the response had provided them with much-needed blood but asked that only blood type O would be taken at Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Center after people lined up around the block for hours.
Sigal, 29, said she had blood type O and had been hoping to donate since Sunday but was afraid to leave home. "It took three hours just to get a number in line and it would probably be another three hours before my turn arrives, but I feel I cannot leave," she said. "All I do is watch the news so here at least I feel that I am doing something useful," she said.
Letters of support, donations, for families forced from their homes
Not far from there, Israelis were collecting donated food, clothes children's games, and anything that could be delivered to civilians or soldiers in need after many families were forced from their homes and now have nothing.
One table was dedicated to drawings and letters of support for the children of those families and for soldiers now geared to fight.
Protest movements who had been actively opposing the government's judicial legislation until Saturday morning had now become organizers of volunteers and donations, using their extensive social media following. "We are putting our organizational infrastructure at logistical abilities at the disposal of aid and support efforts for residents and the military, in the south," they said.
One such group, "Brothers in Arms," made up of IDF reservists and veterans, set up a transportation apparatus, Building an Alternative – a woman's organization set up to fight the legislation, was collecting food, including baby formulas as well as pacifiers, bottles, toys and other equipment needed.
The protest groups have also provided online registration for Israelis wishing to host residents of the south unable to go home or needing to be away from the fighting.
Facebook groups have been opened offering babysitting services for medical teams or families where parents have been called up to the military, including offers to shelter their pets. There are even groups of women offering to breastfeed babies, orphaned in the Hamas attack.
Elective surgeries have been canceled as hospitals deal with the thousands of wounded and people in need of medications, and would now be able to receive them at low cost in all pharmacies and not only their dedicated HMOs.
All HMOs opened hotlines offering emotional support.
First published: 09:06, 10.09.23