July 25, 2024
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Luggage4Israel Continues Gathering Donations

Luggage4Israel

Over eight months into the war that began on October 7, Luggage4Israel continues working to collect and send items to soldiers and displaced families in Israel who need help due to the current war against Hamas. Now based in Hackensack, the organization started from volunteers who set up a base in CareOne of Teaneck, managing donated items and sending them off to Israel with those who were flying there. A few months later, they moved into 1 University Plaza, Hackensack, and are now running a large-scale chesed operation, seeking out flashlights, t-shirts, pocket knives, gloves and many other essentials to fly off to those in need.

A chayal says thank you.

To date, Luggage4Israel has sent over 1,000 suitcases or duffels to Israel with over 300 passengers, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, garnering the financial support of many Jewish businesses. After speaking to coordinator Fran Berg in a January article, The Jewish Link checked in again to hear the latest on their work and how people can get or stay involved.

A child thanks Luggage4Israel.

Berg’s message, however, was not about what has changed but rather what remains true: “It’s still needed … people are still going through the trauma, and they need so much help, and any little thing that can make this a little better is a huge help, and the same goes with the chayalim.”

Chayalim grateful for the donations.

She warned that the community can’t let the duration of the war distract it from the fact that help is still needed. “People tend to forget, get comfortable and say, ‘OK, it’s all good,’ but certainly not. It’s still going on; people are still needing the help; the chayalim still need the support.”

Asked how people can get involved, Berg recommended joining the organization’s WhatsApp group for updates on how to help, such as pickups and donations. Email [email protected] to reach out and request to be added to the chat group, which has over 650 members. As Berg said, this work is “a very big chizuk for the people in Israel, that they know that we are fairly far, but really close. Because we’re still thinking of you every day.”

Bags packed to be sent to Israel.

Daniel Brauner is an intern for The Jewish Link. He is beginning his studies at Yeshiva University in the fall and lives in Teaneck.

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