Leah Weinberger recently celebrated a milestone birthday, but instead of throwing a lavish party and receiving gifts from close friends and family she did something extraordinary. She paid it forward.
Leah asked her friends to donate to a charity close to her heart instead of giving her gifts. Through the LIBI organization, which provides medical, social and educational support to the IDF, Leah was able to make her birthday wish a reality. In total, Leah raised a whopping $1,800 which she decided to put towards buying fleece jackets for an IDF Golani reconnaissance unit.
Larry Blum, a friend of Leah’s who was connected with the unit, had previously sent her an email asking for donations for winter clothing for IDF soldiers. Leah remembered the cause and thought that there was no better way to support Israel than by supporting the soldiers who stand on the front lines, protecting the land each day.
“Our community in East Brunswick, N.J. and the synagogue, Young Israel of East Brunswick, is very active in supporting the IDF and we have in the past raised money to purchase jackets for an entire unit that was working near the Gaza border. I am happy that I was able to do my part then to help out, as well as doing so again now,” Leah told Breaking Israel News.
Leah recently visited Israel but took time off to volunteer with the IDF while she was here. She volunteered as part of the Sar-El program which hosts visitors or resident volunteers for up to three weeks with the army. She spent that time at the Tel Hashomer Hospital and base helping pack boxes, take care of other ordnance items and help out wherever she could.
“When you reach a milestone birthday you want to help, you want to give back and say thank you,” Leah explained. “The IDF are akin to God’s righteous and they are on the front lines doing their part everyday, we are only happy to be able to help them when we can.”
The $1,800 that Leah raised will be combined with other donations to reach a total goal of $6,000 that the unit needs to purchase enough jackets for all of their soldiers. Often, when the army does not have the funds to purchase enough materials or extra supplies for their soldiers, organizations like LIBI are asked to step in and help. These organizations help purchase whatever the soldiers need that the IDF cannot provide.
Through the actions of generous benefactors such as Leah Weinberger and those who helped in her birthday campaign, its safe to say that the soldiers of the Holy Land are always on the hearts and minds of many around the world.