With the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, arriving on October 3, the Israeli army (IDF) is actively preparing to increase security in the Holy Land in order to ensure a safe, meaningful and enjoyable holiday for its citizens. The needs of the IDF soldiers also must be attended to in order to provide a bit of holiday spirit to those in active duty.
That is where LIBI USA, the official fund of the IDF, steps in. “The IDF budget covers all Israeli soldier basic needs,” explain Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, to Breaking Israel News. “LIBI USA steps in to support Israeli soldiers where the IDF budget ends.”
Presently, LIBI USA is raising funds to help needy and lone soldiers get food and supplies for the holiday with supermarket shopping vouchers. They are also funding holiday food boxes and gift baskets filled with basic supplies such as toiletries, towels, sheets and small appliances.
“Our first focus is to do all we can to ensure that our IDF soldiers who are from poor homes or who have volunteered from all over the world to protect Israel by leaving their own families know that the people of Israel are one big family which takes care of everyone,” said Dr. Grossman. “Especially for Rosh Hashana, one of the most important days of the year, we want those who need it most to know that the upcoming year is filled with promise, care and joy.”
The budget for this holiday voucher program is enormous. “We are hoping to have millions of shekels to gift every poor and lone soldier with a 500 NIS voucher [$130],” continued Dr. Grossman to Breaking Israel News. “Special needs soldiers and those who fall into the ‘grey’ area of need will hopefully be given a 250 NIS [$65] voucher, depending on how much funding is raised.”
“Grey area” soldiers are those who the Israeli government may not officially recognize as poor yet come from homes which struggle to make ends meet or have severe challenges like illness or dysfunction.
When Breaking Israel News asked what the budget for this holiday campaign is, Dr. Grossman replied that millions of shekels are needed but an exact figure could not be given as all funds which are donated will be distributed on a hierarchical basis. “If possible, we would like to gift every soldier with something for the holidays,” he said. “Our first priority and pray is that every IDF soldier knows that we are grateful for their dedication to the Land of Israel and bless them with a joy-filled New Year.”