The community of Nazareth Illit sent packages of mishloach manot [traditional gifts of food for the Purim holiday -ed] and letters to the residents of Itimar in the hopes of encouraging the community following the barbaric murder of five members of the Fogel family in the small Samarian settlement.
The initiative was launched by APS school students in Nazareth Ilit who wanted to show solidarity with the children of Itamar. Students wrote letters of support and asked for help in sending them, as well as mishloach manot, from the municipality.
Mayor Shimon Gipsu was so moved by the children's initiative that he asked to attach his own Purim salutations to each letter and approached the managers of the Stauss Elite, who responded to his request for help by donating boxes of snacks and chocolates for the children of Itamar.
Education Department Director Danny Gylden Read then asked the rest of the schools in Nazareth Elit to join the tribute, "The response was tremendous. Teachers, administrators and students joined with pleasure," Gylden-Read told Israel National News. "They were not satisfied with writing letters and attached crafts and amazing fruit handiwork"
For example, students at Yodfat Elementary school, directed by Eve Baker, brought artwork, dolls and accessories for their baskets. And, city manager Amir Oren enlisted city employees in the packing and delivery of boxes. "Everyone willingly joined in."
Letters from the students have elicited tears in Nazareth Ilit, and the students themselves.
"I live in the city of Nazareth Illit," wrote one student from Yodfat Elementary. "I heard about the tragedy that happened to you. Be strong and know that although we are far from our heart is with you."
Another student wrote: "I do not know how anyone could kill a four month old baby. It would take a real devil, a real devil to do such a thing."
Eden, a student at the "Arbel" school asked the children to be strong and maintain their resolve: "I know very difficult for you now, but you have to be strong and not give up. Do not let the bad guys win. You have to fight for a just world that will be better for everyone. "
The residents of Itamar responded to the gesture with enthusiasm. Children in Itamar wrote back, "Your mishloach manot moved us to tears. You touched us to the heart and caused us great excitement."
Nazareth Ilit not only sent the letters and care packages, but Mayor Gipsu, City Manager Amir Oren, and city council members also traveled to Itamar in order to give support to the residents there, telling them, "Israel's strength lies in our ability to unite in moments of grief and moments of joy. The nation's heart broke over this terrible tragedy and it was important for us to tell the people of Itamar they are not alone. We embrace you and strengthen you."