As we follow the news from Israel, one of the most troubling situations we see is the presence of African refugees from Sudan, Eritrea and other nations who have sought safety in that country. Many are seeking refuge from torture, death threats and systemic rape. The situation is beyond complex.
In the past several weeks we have received first-hand reports about a true humanitarian crisis currently underway in Tel Aviv where more refugees find themselves with neither shelter nor basic food. With an unusually cold and wet winter, the situation has gotten only worse; so much so that a few weeks ago someone actually died of exposure while sleeping in the park.
To meet the extraordinary challenges brought about by this crisis, a few small organizations have joined together to locate an appropriate shelter where many people can spend the night, protected from the cold and rain. With the shelter now in place until warmer weather arrives, we learned about the need for simple mattresses. Within but five minutes this morning a call was made to Israel and we were able to arrange for the purchase of 100 mattresses, at a cost of less than $2000.
Compassion and tolerance…also integral parts of tikkun olam.