Union County Orthodox communities have joined forces to create a truly unique and exciting event to support the widows and orphans in the wake of the atrocities suffered by Israel’s communities since Simchat Torah.
With a focus on uniting the local communities, “we want to bring together as many people as possible, for the achdut and also to support Israel as much as we can,” said Rebbetzin Emma Katz of Anshe Chesed in Linden.
Under the leadership of Ariella Lasky of Roselle Park and Tova Buchsbaum of Elizabeth, a committee of representatives from Elizabeth, Hillside, Linden, Roselle Park and Springfield have joined to present this very special wine experience, “Travel Israel Through Wine.”
All of the wine for the event is sponsored by Herzog and the event will benefit its Israel Relief Fund, created by Herzog to benefit the widows and orphans of Oct. 7. The evening will include Israeli food from various local vendors and raffle prizes from Israel, including an Israeli flag from an army base, with all raffle proceeds going to the same cause. The money is being distributed by the Israel Relief Fund via Yad Eliezer, Migdal Ohr, Am Echad and Yad Sarah.
Buchsbaum shared, “Ariella and I felt a shared drive to do something meaningful following the tragic events in Israel on Oct. 7, even though we’d never done anything like this before, and we decided to step out of our comfort zones and organize a fundraising event for a tzedaka in Israel.”
She continued, “Our initiative is more than just about raising funds, it’s also about bringing our communities closer together. In the face of tragedy, there’s a unique opportunity for unity and mutual support. It’s important to show the world the strength and compassion inherent in our Jewish communities. As we navigate this new path, we are inviting our communities to join us on this meaningful journey to come together to not only raise money for tzedaka but also strengthen the ties that bind us, creating a sense of true achdut in times of need.
“I approached my father-in-law, Jay Buchsbaum [executive V.P., marketing and director of wine education at Royal Wine Corp.],” she continued, “with the idea of organizing an event to support Israel and to create unity. He saw it as an incredible opportunity to not only assist the widows and orphans but also to help the struggling wineries in Israel.”
The Herzog family had already decided to brand their impact by supporting victims and in particular, the widows and orphans in the aftermath of the terror attack. They established the Israel Relief Fund, collaborating with four organizations: Yad Eliezer, Yad Sarah, Migdal Ohr and Am Echad. So, Jay Buchsbaum made a request for Herzog to sponsor the wine for this event. Graciously, Herzog agreed.
“‘Travel Israel Through Wines’ will exude the vibrant feel of Israel, immersing attendees in a cultural extravaganza. Israeli music will set the tone … The event will feature Israeli wine exclusively, allowing participants to savor the rich flavors of the region. Israel-styled culinary delights will take center stage with diverse Israeli food stations offering popular dishes. Raffles will add excitement, offering unique prizes tied to the Israeli theme, including a flag from an Israel army base. We invite you to embark on a journey of taste as we explore wines from all corners of Israel, complemented by delightful Israeli cuisine,” said Lasky.
Commenting on the achdut, she shared, “This event serves a dual purpose, aiming to unite diverse communities while concurrently raising funds for Israel. Rooted in the concept of achdut, the Jewish people find strength in collective endeavors. Whether in times of mourning or celebration, we share a common bond that brings us together. In the face of significant challenges impacting the broader Jewish community, there is a natural inclination to unite our efforts. By fostering a sense of togetherness and embodying the principle of ‘b’lev echad,’ our collective power becomes magnified, enhancing our ability to address and overcome challenges as one unified force.”
Tova Buchsbaum added her perspective to this idea. “I want to highlight a crucial aspect. The success and existence of the ‘Travel Israel Through Wine’ fundraising event are directly attributable to the incredible talents and dedicated efforts of the committee members from Elizabeth, Hillside, Linden and Springfield. These individuals each bring unique skills and a shared commitment, and have played a pivotal role in transforming this concept into a reality. Their dedication and the time they’ve selflessly invested emphasize their passion for the cause and their respective communities.”
“Travel Israel Through Wine” welcomes additional sponsorship. Please reach out for details.
To sponsor and purchase tickets, visit the website at www.uniony.org/index.php?src=events&srctype=detail&refno=787
L’chaim and Am Yisrael Chai!!
Ellie Wolf is a staff writer at The Jewish Link.