I hike the length of Israel, you donate $1 to IDF soldiers
Organized by: Ariela Aharon
A couple of years ago, I did a 3 day hike across the state of Israel called "Yam L'Yam" (From sea to sea). The trail is a gorgeous and mild hike that winds all the way across from the Mediterranean to the Kinneret. Since then, I have been itching to do the “other” cross country trail- Rated by National Geographic as one of 20 of the world’s most epic trails, the Israel National Trail crosses Israel from top to bottom and is 1000 km (~600 miles) long, roughly half of it in the Negev desert.
Getting ready for the hike, I met a lot of opposition from my family, who were concerned that I would be doing the trail alone (I told them that I would have Papi [the dog] to protect me, but that didn’t cut it :p). I assured them that I would be taking all of the suggested safety precautions and that according to the guidebooks, the INT is safe for a solo female.
The argument got me thinking about the safety and security that we take for granted, even on our trails, and the sacrifices that our soldiers make on a daily basis. There is no better way to acknowledge that than to put our money where our mouths are and raise money for a cause that serves the IDF.
Which Organization to Choose?
A friend of mine and her husband, Malkah Esther and Mordy Botnick, run a non-profit organization/Chabad House for lone soldiers (usually soldiers who come from abroad and volunteer to serve in the IDF).
Mordy started Chayal El Chayal when he himself was a lone soldier, hosting meals for his friends and creating a network of support and camaraderie to make up for the times and instances in which family is so sorely missed. Chayal El Chayal has since taken on a co-Director and his wife, Ari and Rochel Shira Abramowitz and has grown immensely. Still, CEC is facing serious constraints due to the small space that the Botnicks and Abramowitz’s have available to them. Further growth requires a bigger building, with more facilities/bunks for soldiers, a larger kitchen and dining area, etc. Chayal El Chayal is the only Chabad house for lone soldiers in Israel today.
Anyone who is at all familiar with Chabad and their global institutions knows fully well that the Chabad approach is beyond calculable/physical help and support and, no matter its size, feels like home. This is how Chayal El Chayal contrasts other programs and centers for lone soldiers. Since CEC is built off of the typical Chabad House model, be it a shabbos meal, place to sleep or to hang out, emotional support, advice on military service, and even someone to stand in the crowd beaming with pride when a soldier is participating in an award or commencement ceremony, The Botnicks and Abramowitzes are there. For the soldiers, Ari & Rochel Shira and Mordy & Malkah Esther are family.
So that's why I think that you should give Chayal el Chayal a dollar.
If you're a lone soldier or just want to find out more about Chayal el Chayal, check out their website.
Also, if you want to make a tax deductible donation, get in touch with Chayal el Chayal directly.
If you're not gonna donate, then at least give Chayal el Chayal a like on Facebook?
Ps, there is a direct correlation between the donations received and my level of motivation to keep trundling on through the desert (it was 107 degrees today) with 45 pounds on my back. So please donate.