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Rabbi Ellis

Mishloach Manot for IDF Soldiers

By Rhonda J Spivak, B.A.,

[Written March 2009] -Herzlia Synagogue has brought a taste of Purim to soldiers  in the Israel Defense Forces [I.D.F]by sending them Mishloach Manot baskets  through an Israeli organization called Connections Israel.

On February 25-26, children from both the synagogue and Ohr Hatorah Day School   decorated cards and wrote notes of encouragement and appreciation to accompany  the Mishloach Manot  baskets that will be sent to the I.D.F soldiers.

“To order a basket only costs $15 dollars, and our members have been calling in to order them.  So far, we’ve received  23 orders.  Connections Israel will prepare and deliver the baskets to the I.D.F. on Purim ,” said Rabbi Ellis.

“Although I never served in the I.D.F myself, I have a lot of friends that have served in the army, so I thought this would be a nice thing to do, especially after the latest war in Gaza.  I’m sure the soldiers appreciate this gesture of goodwill,” said Ellis, who used to live in Efrat in Israel before coming here in 2008.

“I can just imagine an I.D. F. soldier getting a package and a card from someone in Winnipeg, and thinking to himself, where is this Winnipeg?, said Rabbi  Ellis with a smile.

Tikvah Ellis, Ellis’s wife, added “It’s a great way to let soldiers know that we are thinking about them, and it’s also a way of injecting a little money into the Israeli economy.”

Rose Aziman, a member of the synagogue, said  her two granddaughters were “eager to make the cards,” as this was “ a good way to encourage them to feel personally involved with the soldiers.”

After the Purim Baskets are distributed, Connections Israel will send the synagogue a special commendation from the Israeli Army, and a picture of the  I.D.F. unit, where the   gift baskets  were delivered .  The photo will be displayed in the  synagogue.
Connections Israel was founded in 1998 as an independent, educational, not-for-profit organization that strengthens Jewish identity while unifying the Jewish People. It provides educational hands on projects to Jewish communities, schools, synagogues and camps around the world that enable participants to show support for various populations and places in Israel.
Rabbi Ellis noted ‘The organization has also done a lot of things in the  Israeli border town of Sderot. The staff are volunteers or work there part time, and 90% of the donations go to people, not to overhead.”

“It’s possible that next year we can do this program together with some other organizations in the  community here, so more people will no about it. W can build on the program for next year,” said Tivah Ellis.

“Anyone who didn’t place their order on time with us, can go onto the internet at and order the Purim Baskets directly,” Rabbi Ellis added.



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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