DLA Piper Colleagues Come on Solidarity Mission to Israel
19-22 November 2023
Over the course of the week, we:
- Sponsored and participated in a pizza- and dessert-making workshop for disabled children from 100 families displaced from northern and southern Israel who come to the Shalva National Center, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, every day for activities.
- Cleaned and repaired wheelchairs and walkers at the Jerusalem branch of Yad Sarah, which has become a centralized pickup location due to other branches temporarily closing during the war.
- Prepared meals for soldiers at two army bases with Grilling For IDF.
- Joined hundreds of volunteers at Aroma Espresso Bar in Bet Shemesh, where 10,000 sandwiches are made every day for soldiers.
- Assembled 200 first aid response kits at United Hatzalah of Israel’s logistics center.
- Volunteered at Pantry Packers by Colel Chabad, where we added 234 packages of orange peas to that day’s distribution of nutritious food to Israel’s neediest families.
- Partnered with Smiles for the Kids to make and package healthy food for over 120 soldiers.
We also spent time hearing from people more closely involved in the war. We visited Shura army base, headquarters of the IDF Rabbinate, where we learned about the horrific, painful, and truly holy work they have been doing since October 7, identifying every one of the fallen citizens and soldiers, preparing the bodies for burial, caring for the bereaved families, and handling all aspects of bringing the fallen to their final resting places. We also had an intimate and thought-provoking conversation with Jeremy Bob, Intelligence, Terrorism, and Legal Analyst at The Jerusalem Post, who shared with us his perspectives on the war and geopolitics. And we were honored to spend time with Jeremy Lustman’s cousins Yaron and Jacqui Vital, whose daughter Adi Vital-Kaploun was brutally murdered in Kibbutz Holit on October 7. Yaron, who had been visiting Adi and her family, described how he managed to miraculously survive the massacre.
Spending the week volunteering and hearing stories of courage and sacrifice was incredibly meaningful, powerful, and uplifting. A tremendous thank you to Drew, Imri, and Yoni, who took time out of their busy schedules to travel to Israel, spending most of the week volunteering with us and demonstrating with their actions their unwavering support for our team and for Israel.