Following the brutal and tragic murders in Itamar last year of Rabbi Udi Fogel, his wife Ruth and three of their children, Mizrachi UK, a branch of the national religious World Mizrachi Movement, decided to raise funds to help in the costs of caring for the remaining Fogel children; Tamar, 13, Roi, 9 and Yishai, 3.
A campaign, spearheaded by Mizrachi UK Chairman Simon Levy, was launched throughout the UK, involving communities from Scotland to the South of England. The response over the past year was extremely generous and on Tuesday, Levy visited the parents of Ruti Fogel, Rabbi Yehuda and Tali Ben Yishai, presented them with a cheque to help in raising the children, and explained to them about the campaign.
During the visit, Levy explained to the parents how the campaign had struck a chord with many people, saying that he had received numerous letters and donations for the cause. He recalled how he had received letters from many distant communities, and was pleasantly surprised to receive donations from Australia, where members of the Jewish community had heard about the campaign and said they felt compelled to assist the children even from so very far away.
Simon also recounted that he received a particularly moving letter from a prisoner who decided to donate the entire weekly stipend that he receives from the government to Mizrachi UK's Fogel campaign.
Rabbi Ben Yishai told Levy they were very moved by the campaign and its success, as well as hearing about how it had touched people far and wide. He said it truly warms their hearts to hear that Jews around the world care about the family and that they really feel that all of the Jewish people are inescapably connected with one another and are part of one big family.
Also present at the meeting were Solly Sacks, Director-General of the World Mizrachi Movement, Jeremy Kurnedz, Treasurer of the World Mizrachi Movement, and Daniel Cohen, Programs Director of the World Mizrachi Movement.
World Mizrachi chapters have helped orphans of terror attacks generously in the past, such as after the horrific bombing of a full bus near Kfar Darom in Gush Katif and on the roads in Judea and Samaria during the Oslo War (the Second Intifada of 2000-2006)
(L to R) Daniel Cohen, Simon Levy, Solly Sacks, Yishai Fogel, Rabbi Yehuda Ben Yishai, Tali Ben Yishai
Mizrachi’s appeal for the Fogel children after the murder