The Orthodox Union (OU) in Israel started a campaign, this week, to collect money for gift packages containing honey and candy, among other things, to be distributed to 1,000 members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), ahead of next week's Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year. The campaign is in the framework of the OU's Mashiv Haruach program, in memory of Lieutenant Uriel Peretz, who fell in a clash with terrorists in Lebanon in November 1998, and his brother Major Eliraz Peretz, who fell in a firefight on the Gaza border in March 2010.
The gift packages are in addition to dozens of food packages, each worth 200 shekels, given to needy soldiers. Mashiv Haruach collects money throughout the year to provide soldiers at bases and outposts throughout the country with food and other gifts, especially at holiday times. Rabbi Avi Berman, the OU's executive director, said, "We all remember as soldiers how sweet the feeling is that you know someone is thinking of you and it gives you the feeling that you are on a mission for the people, even when you're in the field. It's important to us that every soldier know it, even if he is a guy in the most remote place. This distribution campaign is in addition to the spiritual strengthening we give all year to our dear IDF soldiers."