Dear Friends of Israel,
As you know, this Tisha B’Av marks the 10th anniversary of the expulsion from Gush Katif.
For years, the residents of Gush Katif were known for their generosity to the poor of Israel and their extraordinary productivity. A self-contained bloc of communities, they were responsible for 15% of the entire country’s agricultural exports. Fully 97% were employed. The day after the expulsion 85% were instantaneously unemployed.
Sadly, while there was a plan for removing them from their homes, there was no plan for the day after. Overnight, these productive individuals had no jobs and no businesses. Depression, trauma and other emotional, psychological and even health issues ensued.
JobKatif was founded by Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon to help the evacuees become independent, self-supporting individuals once again. To date, JobKatif has helped 2,650 people re-enter the work force.
A worldwide Achdut campaign is now underway to assist many of the remaining unemployed Gush Katif evacuees re-enter the work force.
While we cannot solve the injustice that was committed to these people, nor right the wrongs of the past, we can unite together during the Three Weeks.
A donation of $2,200 will help ensure that a single Gush Katif evacuee currently unemployed can once again enjoy independence, self-pride and dignity. There remain 330 who still need our help.
This is an historic moment for Klal Yisrael. Before Tisha B’Av, when we petition Hashem for rachamim for ourselves in the face of imminent danger to Israel’s existence, it is imperative that we demonstrate our care and concern for each person from Gush Katif. We cannot be callous to their pain any longer. Let us pray that the dignity we pledge to accord them will be a zechut for us all in these perilous times.
I am asking that you share this with your congregations ask them to please give generously to help our friends from Gush Katif.