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Our commitment to support the larger Israeli community was tested during the summer of 2006, during the conflict on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Moments of Tranquility was a grassroots initiative created by our employee team and serves as an example of our dedication and volunteerism to the state of Israel.
During the conflict on Israel’s northern border, more than one million people in Israel were spending part of their day in underground bomb shelters. Many of the northern residents had relocated to the homes of relatives further south. But there were many Israelis who either did not have relatives in Israel or lacked the financial ability to relocate; many of those were new immigrants. We at ARZA World decided to provide hundreds of residents of northern Israel with an escape from the Lebanese Katyusha rockets that were falling in their neighborhoods every day.
ARZA World’s Moments of Tranquility program bused in residents from the northern communities of Kiryat Atta, Kiryat Shmona and Ma’a lot to Jerusalem for a free, four-day vacation far from harm’s way; the vacation included accommodations, meals and guided tours of Jerusalem. ARZA World worked closely with the social services departments at the municipal level to locate those in need and identified hundreds of families who were beneficiaries of the program.
Instead of guiding congregations from North America for the usually busy summer tourist season, ARZA World tour educators and drivers found themselves driving and guiding these temporary Israeli refugees during that difficult summer.
We hope Israel will never again need the kind of help required that summer, but we continue to help the larger Israeli community where we can and are proud to do so.