AMIT visit to Sderot
AMIT visit to Sderot Limor Friedman

In the wake of attacks across Israel, an initiative by AMIT Executive Vice President Andy Goldsmith to provide AMIT Network families and staff a reprieve over Shabbat saved the lives of the Algazar family of Sderot, who were staying in a hotel when their home was destroyed in a rocket attack. Today, Goldsmith arrived for an emotional visit to Sderot.

"It's unbelievable," exclaimed Goldsmith when he arrived in Sderot and stood among the rubble of the Algazar family home. “I do not want to think what would have happened if the family was at home on Friday night, when the missile fell.”

Rachel and Joshua Algazar were miraculously saved not once, but twice, from missiles originating in Gaza that hit their home in Sderot during Operation Guardian of the Walls. The first missile to hit their home a few days earlier miraculously did not explode upon impact. Unfortunately, the second rocket strike did explode and caused massive destruction to their home. But Rachel, Joshua and their two children were at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem at the time. They were there at the invitation, who donated respite vacations to the families of AMIT students and staff in Sderot.

During the operation, AMIT Women wanted to identify with the tens of thousands of students and teachers in southern and central Israel, who were living under fire, and they decided to sponsor a weekend in a hotel for any family that was affected and needed a break in a hotel to restore their strength. Principals across the country extended the offer to their teachers and students. Sderot High School offered the Algazar family a weekend in the Inbal hotel in Jerusalem which saved their lives.

Rachel and her son Urel, a student at Sderot High School ,Andy Goldsmith, AMIT President Audrey Trachtman, and former President Debbie Moed and Dr. Amnon Eldar, CEO of Amit Network attended the emotional meeting. Rachel recounted the chain of events and said she did not even have time to enjoy the hotel but received her life and her family's life as a gift. “We arrived at the hotel and as soon as we went down for dinner, my husband got a call from our neighbor who asked where we were and said a missile had exploded inside our house. We immediately left the hotel and drove back to Sderot to see what was left of the house and try to save what was possible. The invitation to the hotel saved our lives. You - Andy - was good messenger of the One who decided we should be saved."

Andy Goldsmith said: "In New York, we anxiously followed what was unfolding here in Sderot with our students and our teachers who were living under shelling. We thought what we could do to help them and then came the idea to give the families of students and staff a breather at the Inbal hotel, which also partnered with us. It's an unbelievable feeling to find out that thanks to this initiative, an entire family survived. It's a great privilege for us."

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