Sunday, July 09, 2006



Remembering the Past, Building the Future

Tuesday, August 1, 2006, will mark the first annual world-wide Commemoration for the 21 destroyed communities of Gush Katif, and its 10,000 Jewish inhabitants, now refugees seeking relief from their staggering losses. The focus will be on remembering the past, educating people as to the painful conditions still prevalent in regard to the refugees, preventing the repetition of such events, and raising funds to help rebuild the communities.

10,000 displaced Jews are still in temporary homes, tent cities and kibbutz rooms, without jobs, without farms, without local schools, and without facilities for young people. These people want to rebuild their broken lives. The world-wide community is asked to remember the Biblical connection and the legacy of the unforgettable thriving communities of Gush Katif and respond with emotional and financial support
We are calling upon congregations ,communities and to all of our supporters throughout the USA and world wide to mark this event either in parallel to the event which will take place in Israel or on Shabbat "Chazon" or on Shabbat "Nachamo" or at any time during this month.

The Gush Katif Committee is planning to send in the next days thousands of Kits to heads of communities. They will contain the necessary information about Gush Katif such as films, personal testimonies of the evacuees, photographs from Gush Katif, flyers and special Divrei Torah.

In Manhattan, the Commemoration will take place at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, 5 E. 62nd Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues, on Tuesday, August 1, from 8-10 PM. A film, along with educational material prepared by the Gush Katif Committee, will be on the program, along with a roster of distinguished guest speakers from Israel and from the New York community.

This event is taking place in parallel to the major event that will be held in Jerusalem on August 1. On this day the Gush Katif Committee is organizing a series of events for the expellees and the public and expecting hundreds of thousands to participate. During the first part of the day we will be able to attend lectures, debates, to view movies and artistic photograph exhibit at the Binyanei Ahuma Convention Center. Following will be a gathering at the Atsmaut Park, where each one of the communities will be represented in a pictorial exhibition. At the park we will finish the writing of the Gush Katif Sefer Torah that will be brought in a procession to the Kotel Ama'aravi where it will be kept until B'H Am Israel returns to Gush Katif. For contributions to the Sefer Torah click here or send checks directly to Friends of Gush Katif, P.O Box 1184, Teaneck, NJ 07666.

As plans begin to unfold, we hear of daytime “street theater” events, an extensive email fund-raising campaign that has already been launched, and newspaper ads being prepared for release on August 1. Schools and summer camps are being enlisted, and synagogue events are being scheduled throughout the country. Details will be released in a few weeks, so that plans still in the works can be formalized. In the following days we will inform you about additional events

There is still time for communities everywhere to plan events, both big and small. The activities can take many forms. Use your imagination. Get involved. To give or get information, contact the following:
Barry Freedman, Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI – 212-828-2424;
Helen Freedman, AFSI 917-886-0729;
Dror Vanunu, Friends of Gush Katif –
Laurence Beziz, Friends of GK –

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