By Rachel Gross Weinstein
The message rang true last week that young Jewish adults stand with Israel. Nearly 200 gathered to show their support for the State of Israel and its people.
Community member Alex Molayem, along with Makom and the Intown Chabad, which both serve young adults, hosted “BBQ for a Cause” July 23 at the Intown Chabad. The evening included food and music, writing letters to members of Congress and more.
Molayem got the idea for the event last week with the plans coming together in three short days. Having visited Israel several times in the past, he knew something needed to be done to make a difference.
“I didn’t want to organize a political rally, but just wanted something people would get on board with that would improve the lives of others,” he said. “Israel has a special place in my heart and this is the least we can do to help the country and its people when they are hurting. Having something like this shows that Dallas cares. There is no excuse to not do something when we can.”
So far, about $10,000 has been raised from online donations and the event itself, and contributions are still being accepted. The funds benefit International Young Israel Movement (IYIM – Israel), whose mission is to help Israelis living in areas most vulnerable to rocket fire through social welfare programs, education, trips for children and other activities.
During the barbecue, guests took photos with signs that read “Together we win, we support the IDF” and “I stand with Israel, Am Yisrael Chai.” Close to 50 men laid tefillin as well, which is a way to honor the security of Israel, according to Rabbi Zvi Drizin who runs the Intown Chabad.
Drizin said he was pleased with the attendance and that it’s very telling of how the younger generation feels about Israel.
“Young Jewish people care really passionately about Israel,” he said. “Everyone came together and it was really beautiful to do it with Makom. We need to be the people who model the love of every Jew and especially in times of crisis, we need to come together. Everyone understands that Israel is ultimately protecting us and people feel that on a deep level.”
Elana Lavi, who cares deeply for Israel, said it was unbelievable to see so many people unite for a meaningful cause.
“It was amazing to see the support of so many young Jewish adults wanting to help Israel at this horrific time in history,” she said. “Gathering with so many like-minded Jews reminded me that it’s important to help our fellow brothers and sisters in Israel and that it’s possible to do so from anywhere in the world.”
Supporting Israel is even more significant to Drew Alyeshmerni right now. The executive vice president at the Southwest Jewish Congress lived in Israel for several years and served in the IDF.
“It was heartwarming to see so many people of our generation come out to support Israel,” Alyeshmerni, said. “It shows there is a genuine desire to be connected.”
For more information about IYIM and to donate, visit www.jewcer.com/project/fund-trips-for-children-under-rocket-fire.