As we approach Yom Kippur, making amends and helping others becomes of key importance. These days, I am personally on the receiving end of an outpouring of care and concern from our family and the community after unfortunately breaking my arm, and I deeply and sincerely appreciate the offer of “How can I try to help you today?” Calling his newly created Facebook group just that, Akiva Fuld of Karmei Tzur, Israel, has involved more than 2,500 people in his venture since the group’s inception five months ago.
An oleh from Queens, New York, Akiva Fuld and wife, Hinda, married in August of 1997 in Toronto, and made aliyah two months later. They are the proud parents of seven children. Professionally, Fuld has created a course available through online webinars that teaches individual entrepreneurs and corporate executives how to determine universal personality types to help direct communication to them in the most effective and productive way. He has designed his curricula on the model of the Four Sons in the Haggadah.
But this activity accounts for only a portion of his day.
Since his initial posting of “How Can I Try to Help You Today?” Fuld has been devoting multiple hours during the day and often into the night to helping people from throughout Israel and as far away as Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan, Russia and the U.S.
Requests for help include assistance in navigating the Israeli health system, general information for olim who may have gaps in their familiarity with how Israeli society functions, referrals to professionals and professional organizations which are hard to access, contacts with charitable organizations and visa and citizenship issues, to name a few. There have also been simple requests for physical assistance with moving furniture, how to navigate technology or how to hang a mezuzah. Even requests for shidduchim have been posted.
In order to respond efficiently to these overwhelming requests, Fuld has created a management tree that he supervises from above. Below him on the tree are personal friends and acquaintances who have contacts in a variety of industries and are willing to share their networking abilities. Below them are the impressive numbers of random responders from throughout Israel and internationally who are happy to answer the call of a fellow man. Among them are lone soldiers with time to physically assist others and the 18 to 35-year-olds who understand technology and are eager to share their expertise.
Word has been spreading about the group, which has grown exponentially.
“We all have something to give, some advice to share,” Fuld said.
Spreadsheets are created to allow for postings. Fuld also facilitates private messaging for those who wish to remain anonymous. Topics that Fuld and his participants will not address are financial requests, illegal enterprises and political protests and causes.
Fuld explained that often the key to helping others is the ability to see their situations from a different vantage point, in a different light and with a different thought process. Then there must be the desire to “stand up and pitch in.” So if you see a young man sporting a tie that reads “How Can I Try to Help You Today?” just step right up and be counted.
For further information about the venture, contact Akiva Fuld at [email protected] or visit How Can I Try to Help You Today on Facebook.