The summer fundraising season for the One Israel Fund consists of four venues in the suburbs of New York, where supporters gather for backyard barbecues and Israeli wines to hear updates on Jewish communities in the Yehuda and Shomron. Last week, a rainy evening did not deter West Hempstead residents from offering their support to this organization.
“This one is the easiest to organize because we never have to search for a space. Alan and Sharon Shulman always have their home available for us,” said One Israel Fund Executive Director Scott Feltman. “Every year they’ve provided us with everything we need to make this event a success.”
Under the tent in Shulman backyard, supporters learned of the organization’s work in funding security devices, playgrounds, medical centers, and religious infrastructure at every Jewish community in the Israeli territories, serving nearly half a million people. “This year Young Israel of West Hempstead sponsored a new command center near Itamar and a new mikvah,” Feltman said.
A command center serves as a dispatch hub for communications in an emergency, with 12 of them planned throughout the territories. Other security items include surveillance cameras and drones. To save lives, the proceeds are used to purchase defibrillators, ambulances, and construction continues on the medical center to serve communities in the Binyanim region to the north of Jerusalem.
“This government has already approved more homes than any previous Israeli government. There’s a quality of life in Yehuda and Shomron. A sense of community that is unique. The farms protect the land because they serve as a security buffer.”
At last year’s West Hempstead fundraiser, the organization’s security director Marc Prowisor spoke of recent projects. As he was not able to attend because of a family emergency, Eve Harow provided another angle to One Israel Fund’s multifaceted mission. “During the pandemic, I organized virtual tours and webinars on the communities that we serve,” she said.
A former resident of Los Angeles, she made aliyah in 1988 and settled in Efrat. In her new home she graduated from Bar Ilan University, attending its Leadership Program for Religious Women and later receiving her Master’s degree in Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology. She used her knowledge to promote tourism in the territories, focusing on working people who are building up their communities.
“Herodion was recently redone and it is a national park, but I take visitors to people. The Arugot farm in the Gush, the glass workshop, the wineries. They are all doing something special for the Jewish people.”
In her role as Director of Tourism and Education for the One Israel Fund, Harow is organizing a mission for women and a tour of wineries. Concerning her organization, Harow said that its work prevents headlines from being written, as most stories in mainstream media about the Israeli territories are about violence rather than the history, families, businesses, and grassroots efforts to improve the quality of life and security.
“We’ve been building hospitality huts for soldiers, staffed by volunteers where they can bond and recuperate,” Feltman said. “The volunteers live in these communities and this is how they express support to the soldiers.”
BY SERGEY KADINSKY