Airlift Campaign for Clothes, Goods for Expulsion Victims

A local Los Angeles campaign to airlift clothes and needed items for expulsion victims has taken off into a world-wide relief effort stretching from Canada to Australia.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 12:40

Dr. Daryl Temkin, a 52-year-old psychologist and Jewish leader involved with teaching people about Israel, said he learned a few hours after the Rosh Hashanah holiday that the airlift was feasible. The Israel Homeless Association told him that it could get a charity rate from El Al and British Airways for clothes, toys, computers, school supplies and other items.

"The excitement over this has been mainly because this is a unique opportunity for Jews to be helpful for their fellow Israeli Jews," said Dr. Temkin. "I received 400 e-mails within in a few days. One man called and said he has multiple truckloads of aid for Katrina victims which were unable to be accepted.

"One manufacturer is donating 200 pairs of jeans and others contributed supplies of children's clothing and hundreds of shoes," he added. Another manufacturer is sending an "extraordinary number" of winter coats.

Many of the expulsion victims lived in Gush Katif for up to 30 years and are not equipped for cold and wet weather. They have tried to stay in the southern area, but the government has forced many of them into temporary hotels and make-shift guest houses in Jerusalem and in the north, where heavy rains and occasional snow fall as early as November.

Compounding the former residents' dilemma is the location and condition of thousands of containers the government provided to store their personal property. They later discovered that they have to pay for the containers, which often are almost impossible to find because hundreds of them all alike and cover a huge and open storage lot. Temperatures inside the containers have reached 190 degrees, and many possessions have been stolen or ruined.

Hundreds of families have been living for weeks in cramped hotel rooms without normal family recreational and cultural facilities.

Dr. Temkin said he hoped the Los Angeles airlift will be in on its way to Israel by the end of this month. He is helping others to organize airlifts in other cities and is looking for people to help store donations in cities that are served by El Al and British Airways.

"I began receiving responses from Miami, Toronto, Montreal, and Denver and other cities. London also is working on this, and there is talk about it in South Africa and Australia. Rabbi Pesach Lerner is organizing the effort in New York," Dr. Temkin related.

He emphasized that clothes must be in excellent condition and that electrical appliances must be equipped to operate on 220 volts.

"The airlift will be met when it lands in Tel Aviv and the cargo will be
organized and distributed to the proper people within hours," he said. "These solutions were made possible thanks to the Israel Homeless Association which will be handling this airlift. It is now up to us to make [it] an historic success.

"The need list includes, shoes, socks, underwear, T-shirts, diapers, baby supplies, pants, dresses, shirts, slacks, hats, raincoats, umbrellas, sweaters, winter coats and basically everything that you can think of.

"Shabbos and holiday clothing is also appreciated. Women's clothing is highly requested, and I expect that applies to the juvenile age bracket as well. Cold weather shoes are really needed since most of these people only own open toe sandals.

"We need to collect toys, games, school supplies, pencils, pens, paper, coloring books, crayons, stuffed animals, infant toys and equipment, strollers, high chairs, cribs and all other infant needs, sports gear, balls, bicycles, tricycles, air pumps."

People who can donate trucks for collective contributions and can provide storage space can contact Dr. Temkin at DarylTemkinPhD@aol.com.

He also is looking for financial donations to cover supplies and insurance. Checks may be payable to "CJJA" or Congregation Joseph Jacob Abraham and should be earmarked "Israel Clothing Drive." All contributions are tax deductible.



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