Operation Pillar of Defense: P2G Family Responds with Love and Concern

Dear Partnership Family,

I attended the General Assembly last week amidst a continued flurry of concerned e-mails which were being exchanged between Partnerships regions in Israel and our P2G communities which had been hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. There are things that you can’t ask for in life. There are things that if you ask for them, it’s simply not the same. No one asked for our Israeli partners to reach out with concern – it was a natural and “taken for granted” response. No one asked for schools in our School Twinning Network to send disks, letters, and short clips. It was a normal response of worried family members.

At the GA, I debated whether or not to share with you – our Partnerhip2Gether Family – some of these heartfelt correspondences and decided to just let it be. I felt that those in our NY and NJ partnerships know that their Israeli steering committee members and volunteers are overwhelmed with concern and are taking action of support in the wake of Sandy. Our northeastern U.S. shore board partners know exactly what their Israeli partners feel and are doing. I felt this was enough. That’s what’s important.

But even before I returned home, the IDF “Pillar of Cloud” operation was launched. Within hours, our partners in Federation – some of the very same communities which were hard hit by Sandy – were now pouring out their concern. Within the first 24 hours, I was witness to scores of e-mails now asking our P2G Directors on the ground what their needs are?; How can they most effectively respond? In no time, I was sent videos of students in Mexico, the Ukraine, NJ and more sending their warms words of support to their Israeli P2G friends and family.

The pain that was felt in Israel over the devastation of Sandy was the same pain and concern now being felt overseas.

A family is a family. When life is busy and all is good, we don’t always stop to express what’s in our heart. In tumultuous or should I say crazy days like these, whether devastation is being created by human nature or human beings, families are once again put to the test, albeit what should be an easy test. Still, the fact that our P2G family in Israel and across the globe responded so pro-actively and naturally with love and care should never, ever be taken for granted.

I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to ask “how are you”, to say you are worried sick and that you care.

As the new week begins, I wish all of you wherever you may be tranquil days.
I wish peaceful and safe days and nights to our Israeli P2G family residing in regions of unrest.

I pray that our young soldiers in the IDF return home safely.

Andrea Arbel

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