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Mission accomplished for the North Shore Towers (NST) and Jewish National Fund (JNF) in their efforts to raise $100,000 to purchase a first responder fire truck for Israel. Initially designated to help combat the country's burning forests, given the ongoing hostilities with Lebanon, the trucks are even more essential said Dr. Yossi Olmert, the brother of Israel's prime minister as &#8220Israel herself is burning!”
The fundraising emergency meeting, held on August 3 in the Towers on the Green reception room in Building Two of NST, was the finale for a campaign that began approximately two and-a-half months ago. Successfully raising 20% of its goal, the campaign still needed a significant amount of money to obtain the life-saving vehicle.
The August event netted marvelous results two days prior to the conference. A resident of Building Two, who wishes to remain anonymous, informed Chuck Robbins, the fundraising chairman for the apartment complex, to &#8220see what you have,” she would donate the rest.
Robbins, who says &#8220he fell in love all over again,” was ecstatic that NST and JNF had accomplished their goals on schedule. Although he confesses to not know what would happen when they embarked on the fundraiser, they hoped to have secured the funds at the meeting to coincide with Jewish High Holy Days and the fifth anniversary of September 11.
Jeffrey Goldfarb, Executive of the Jewish National Fund, illustrated the need for fire trucks for the small communities in the developing Negev region in Israel, most of which he says don't even possess one fire truck. Compounding the urgency for the trucks is the recent turmoil.
&#8220We didn't anticipate war when we started this campaign a few months ago,” said Goldfarb. &#8220However, given all the recent violence, the urgency for fire trucks has multiplied. This is a tangible, life-saving item.” NST residents would be able to &#8220see and feel” exactly what their money had bought.
&#8220You can see people's lives getting saved,” said Goldfarb.
One life saved was speaker Eugene Goldstein, former NST resident and a victim of a terrorist attack, who recounted to the audience, the heart-wrenching ordeal experienced by his family.
Driving to Jerusalem on June 20, 2003, hours after witnessing the blessing of his grandson's wedding, Hamas shot 100 bullets into his car. His son was killed instantly; he himself was injured, but not as seriously as his wife who was &#8220an inch away from death,” due to a bullet narrowly missing her carotid artery.
&#8220The reason why I am telling you this story is because without the ambulance and fire trucks that came to our aid, I doubt if I would be here today. The fire truck saved our lives,” says Goldstein.
Olmert, the featured speaker, a scholar, author and diplomat, captivated the audience, with impassioned declarations to &#8220defend Jewish life!” The Middle Eastern scholar criticized the &#8220people who tell us” that Israel had responded disproportionately to the terrorists.
&#8220This war didn't start a few weeks ago,” Olmert cried. This war started six years ago!” According to Olmert, within six years, 1,200 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the south and Hezbollah in the north, which exponentially translates into 40,000 would-be American casualties. &#8220Which is 13 times September 11,” he pointed out.

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