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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

Kol BT

The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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What My Mother Did

From a Tiny Box to a Full Warehouse to a Plane to Israel

Usually, after a crisis, there is a moment of uncertainty, especially in a community. The management of a large group of people seems near impossible in unpredictable times, especially ones that cannot be controlled.  

“[I was] heartbroken, [it was] a never-ending nightmare.” – Mrs. Laurie Goodwin 

“[Even as a non-Jew] I was profoundly devastated.” – Mr. Gary Pedroni 

“On Simcha Torah, when we heard the news from Israel, everyone immediately felt like they had to do something.”- Rabbi Shmuel Gurary, head of the Israeli Chabad House of Baltimore  

“When this tragedy happened, the first thing I did was contact my family, my friends…” 

With the war in Israel, there was no exception. I will never forget the Saturday morning, when I, still sleepy, had heard the horrors of what was happening in Israel. I will never forget the sense of dread and uncertainty that filled the community to the brim, the pure unfamiliarity of the situation to both young and old- a tragedy unheard of since the Yom Kippur War, or some would argue, the Holocaust.  

“…but also, the people in the [Ashqelon] emergency teams” – Huppit Miller, my mother 

But in this case, the silence that felt like eternity had been the blink of an eye. The Baltimore Jewish community had risen in an overwhelming tide to help Israel, and in my mother’s case from a box of toys. One morning, she had received a message from one of her contacts from the officials of Ashkelon with a list of necessities for the city’s children in shelters, Dafna Amira Bitton of the emergency team.  

 “I knew we had a lot of families that needed our help.” -Jill Manko, Director of Engagement at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation

“War [can] bring out the best… of the human spirit.”- Mr. Pedroni 

“When [Huppit] called me and told me [her idea to send supplies] to our sister city Ashqelon… I immediately jumped on because I knew this one would happen”- Rabbi Gurary 

“It started with a couple of things I had in my home,” says Huppit, referring to a cardboard box of unused toys we had in the basement .She then turned to Rabbi Gurary of Chabad Israeli Center of Baltimore, who jumped on board and used his many connections to get this project going.  He connected us with Orly Moving, an Israeli-owned moving company, who allowed us to use a brand new, empty warehouse to store the supplies. Friends from BT, Baltimore Hebrew and the greater Baltimore community all got involved. 


 “I’m grateful to be a part of this community,” says Polina Mirsky, a leader and advocate for this donation.  

Everybody just gave. I sensed [they] all wanted to help.”- Huppit Miller 

“The response was overwhelming.” – Polina Mirsky 

“Everyday, the supplies would double and triple!”- Jill Manko

After about a week of meticulous sorting, the team finally received earth-shattering news: through the Chabad, they were able to contact a plane that would deliver the supplies to Israel! Eventually, they were able to gather numerous 70-pound bags of supplies for the children (including games, coloring books, flashlights with included batteries for the power losses) and on October 18th, my mother and a handful of volunteers were driven to the airport by Rabbi Gurary, to deliver the donations in person. Rabbi Gurary got to work securing a way to get it all sent to Israel, which had many logistical challenges. Finally the great news came in,  they were able to get permission to deliver 40 suitcases on a flight to Israel! “We watched in tears as they landed [in Israel],” says Manko, “we were in such shock of our beautiful community!” 

We were so overwhelmed by the generosity of the community that we are currently working on our second shipment!” – Huppit Miller 

“We should continue to [to donate and show support], there’s a lot of ideas… people are lining up to help.” – Polina Mirsky  

“Everyone should help with whatever they can… spread truth, every single Israeli [and Jew] is an ambassador.”- Rabbi Gurary 

In conclusion, the enthusiasm from the community has never brought it more glow, a light in the darkest of times. “People show up every day to do something,” says an awed Mirsky. We can only continue to pray and give whatever we can, starting from anything. We know the community will rise behind our ideas and help our brothers and sisters in Israel.  


“The integrity of one person [is] enough to create a change, and we were a whole community.” – Orli Shalem, co-owner of Orli Moving

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