created at: 2011-05-17

By Lisa Wallack

This past December, a terrible forest fire  – the largest in Israel’s history – raged through the Carmel Valley outside of the City of Haifa, claiming 43 lives, destroying more than 5 million trees, and many buildings in the Yemin Orde Youth Village, Kibbutz Beit Oren and the Ein Hod artist colony.  The professional and volunteer members of the Haifa Fire Department fought courageously and tirelessly for four days, finally bringing the raging fire under control.  Their dedication and heroism is commendable and worthy of recognition.  

As a result, The Rashi School decided to donate the funds raised through the generosity of our community to support the Haifa Fire Department.  We should be proud of the fact that our community has raised $1,000 through donations ranging from pennies to over $100.  The Haifa Fire Department has very limited resources and spends all that it has on equipment to fight fires. This leaves them with nothing to spend on themselves.  Yet they certainly deserve to be able to relax during their brief periods of downtime.  We see it as a true mitzvah to designate these funds to recreational use, including a flat screen television for their Culture Hall – something they would never dream of doing for themselves.  

Thanks so much to the Rashi kehillah for your generosity and for enabling us to say “thank you” in such a meaningful way to these brave men and women who dedicate themselves to the protection of the citizens and the land of our sister city of Haifa.