April 19, 2024
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The Effort Behind the War Effort: Lema’an Achai Steps Up Wherever Needed

One of the amazing things happening in Israel right now is that no matter who you are or what you do, you are part of the war effort. One organization that really exemplifies this is Lema’an Achai. The organization has traditionally been an incredible resource for families struggling with financial challenges through their “smart chesed” methodology, which helps families with job training, budgeting and planning to get them on stable footing to help break them free from the never-ending cycle of poverty.

On Oct. 6 this was their sole objective. On Oct. 7, that all changed. While they continue to carry out their core mission, the temporary mission has expanded such that their operation has significantly grown to help with various parts of the war effort.

During the short week that I spent in Israel, I got a chance to see their operation firsthand. I saw how they worked to coordinate the cleaning out, rearranging and painting of shelters in Beit Shemesh to ensure they would be usable if/when it would be needed. I saw the lockers of supplies they have compiled to help provide soldiers with essentials not currently provided by the IDF, such as thermals, gloves, hats, protein bars, beef jerky and hygiene products.

I saw that their daily schedule could change on a dime as we went from one intended plan for the day, which was to include one of the many barbecues they have made for soldiers and displaced families, to pivoting due to the weather and compiling and delivering supplies to an army base in need. As part of that delivery, I had the chance to meet two of the soldiers in much need of winter clothing and hear the appreciation they had for the amazing work being done. Most importantly, I saw how they applied their lean operating methodology to be able to become a Swiss Army knife of help in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Lema’an Achai is not a commercial distributor but has managed to provide over 1,500 food and supply packages to chayalim reaching over 20,000 soldiers. They are not experienced as a refugee organization, but they’ve assisted over 200 displaced families with food, clothing, toys, therapy and relocation expenses. They are not caterers, party planners or daycare experts but have managed to provide the families of soldiers with Shabbat packages, babysitting and special events to bring some joy and normalcy to families grappling with what is certainly not in the realm of normal.

For Lema’an Achai right now there is no such thing as “that’s not what we do.” They simply do what is necessary, when it’s necessary, to make sure these families are and soldiers are properly cared for.

The common theme here is that while they are not dedicated practitioners in the areas mentioned above, their expertise lies in how to help families. It’s what they have been doing for years in an innovative and efficient manner and are now applying that care, focus and love to their family throughout Eretz Yisrael, in whatever way is needed.

This was the most important lesson I took from getting to observe the work happening at Lema’an Achai. When a family member is in need of help, any one of us would immediately spring to action, and no matter our initial expertise, we often become experts in that topic because we know that nobody can care for our loved ones like we can ourselves. Lema’an Achai takes this approach well beyond the unit of one’s immediate family and applies that principle to caring for everyone in need in Eretz Yisrael during these difficult times. Whether it’s barbecues, clearing out shelters, tactical gear, toys, babysitting or clothing, they are delivered with love and care so that the recipient knows that there is someone who is there for them, someone who cares, and someone who will continue to care for them for as long as is needed.

For more information on Lema’an Achai or to help with their work, contact [email protected] or visit www.lemaanachai.org/en.


Daniel Krausz can be reached at [email protected].

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