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Achva B'Kerem

We are all looking for ways to help Israel right now. Kol Emeth has a dear friend who lives in Jerusalem, Rabbi Tamir Nir who leads Achva B’Kerem, a pluralistic Synagogue in Jerusalem. We met Tamir during the pandemic as part of our virtual tour of Israel and in person this past December. He is an amazing Rabbi who has created a pluralistic community dedicated to meaningful, soulful, Judaism.

Since October 7th, Tamir and his community have taken on supporting refugees from the south of Israel. They are cooking hundreds of meals and offering a Friday night dinner and a night service each Friday for members of their community and refugees to enrich people's souls and create a dignified place to gather. Years ago they created a beautiful peace garden. They have been opening this area up during the day for family and children activities and even daycare. Many of the families who have fled the violence in the south do not yet have organized activities and so the chance to gather and reflect, to learn and bake pita together, has been enriching and a great way to offer care.

Rabbi Nir’s community is also providing social services and comfort to families in mourning. They have been getting food and clothing for the refugees and volunteering to do agricultural work in the Gaza envelope (the area next to Gaza that has been evacuated) so that the farms can remain functional. All these efforts are costing his community an additional $10,000 a month.

I believe we can and should help them. There are a myriad of worthy causes right now. I am choosing this because I want to help those displaced in a direct way. The war may continue for months (Rabbi Nir estimates six). I want to be part of helping those out of their homes. I want those refugees to know that people far away in Palo Alto were moved by their circumstances and acted. I want to remind Israelis that we stand with them, that our hearts are broken, and that we want to help.

Carol and I donated $500 to this effort. We are hoping Kol Emeth can raise one month for them - $10,000. You can donate through Please indicate the gift is for Achva B’Kerem. They are acting as a pass-through, so 100% of the money will go to Tamir and his community for the work they are doing. His community is also using 100% of the money for meals, clothing, and child care during this time of emergency. This is a zero-overhead project.

I hope for better days, a release of the hostages, and an end to the threat of Hamas. In the meantime, let us do what we can to humanize those most hurt by this terrible war.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi David Booth

Sat, December 9 2023 26 Kislev 5784