The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) Brooklyn Region, is planning to distribute 9,000 Mishloach Manot baskets to Israeli soldiers serving on bases in Israel, as part of a tradition spearheaded by ZOA Board Member and President of its Brooklyn Region, Rubin Margules.
The ZOA leads the effort, together with Emunah of America, Mizrachi and The Young Israel Movement in Israel. This major effort is coordinated with the ZOA’s Israel office and – in past years – the Israel Defense Forces. This year, the Zionist Organization of America leadership mission is taking part in the Purim Project that was labeled “Bring the Joy of Purim to the IDF”.
All products are bought in Israel and assembled by volunteers. The packages contain a variety of food and drink in keeping with the Jewish Purim tradition. Nearly 30 Jewish schools and congregations are participating in the ZOA Purim IDF Project helping to fundraise and encouraging students to write personal notes and letters to the soldiers, expressing gratitude for defending the biblical homeland. Each Mishloach Manot package includes a personal letter or card, written by students thanking the recipients for all they do for Jews all over the world.
All bases, large and small
The Project began 16 years ago, when Margules visited an IDF base and inquired about what can be done for the soldiers. “The Mishloach Manot Campaign is a terrific way for the American Jewish community to connect with Israel and show our support,” he said this week. "During the past 16th years we have traveled to all sorts of bases, large and small, from the borders of Lebanon to the Negev.
"The response and the thanks we receive is overwhelming. If there was a Guinness Book of World Records for the most Mishloach Manot baskets delivered, I think we’d win. You can’t measure the incredible gratitude, appreciation and endless thanks that soldiers display when they receive their Mishlochei Manot and read the letters of thanks. It’s the least we can do to give back to those who risk their lives for Israel. Is what keeps me coming back year after year”.
This year, Margules will be joined by a Zionist Organization of America leadership mission that will help him bring the “Joy of Purim” to IDF soldiers.
The soldiers have lots of friends in the US
Among the American schools and congregations participating are Maayan Torah Day School, Adat Shalom Synagogue, Shulamith School, Magen David High School, The Mesivta High School, Yeshiva of South Shore, Hebrew Academy of Miami Beach, Brauser Maimonides Academy, Rambam Mesivta, Shevet Almog/South Florida Tzofim (Scouts), Har Zion Temple, Gann Academy, Foxman Torah Institute, Adath Israel Synagogue, Abrams Hebrew Academy, Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto, Jewish Foundation School of Staten Island, Midreshet Shalhevet, Manhattan Day School, HFTR – Middle School and more.
According to Jeff Daube, Israel’s ZOA office director, “Each year, Rubin Margules and ZOA Brooklyn Region’s Purim project, send a message to soldiers that they have lots of friends in the US."
Morton Klein, National President of ZOA, expressed his strong support for the project when he said, “These beautiful and courageous men and women of the IDF are our heroes… Please join ZOA in showing your appreciation to them during the Purim Holiday.”