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Giving Back to Our Israeli Soldiers

Giving Back to Our Israeli Soldiers

Aharon Gross is expressing his gratitude by cooking meals for thousands of soldiers across the country.

by

Civic Care Community – or 3C for short – was started by a Haredi man, Aharon Gross, who bumped into some soldiers at the Kfar Azza gas station in 2008. During the subsequent conversation he realized how much these soldiers give without acknowledgment or appreciation, and how much they missed their homes and families, including home-made food.

At that moment he decided to find tangible ways to express his gratitude to every IDF soldier and member of the security forces.

Aharon with soldiers of the Golani

Every week Aharon and his team of volunteers travel the length and breadth of Israel to visit bases and outposts from Eilat to the Golan in order to hand out treats, hold barbecues with quality meat and side dishes, distribute sweets, surprises and more. All this in order to express their sincere appreciation and gratitude to our IDF soldiers.

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"Our IDF soldiers are there for us, everywhere, every moment, in heat waves and torrential rain, in the toughest of conditions and terrains, in ambushes and at checkpoints, in bases and guard posts, and in military missions of all kinds. They are the backbone of our very existence. Because they're out there doing their job, we can live quietly, securely and safely. They protect us with their very life and soul. And they deserve something in return!"

Over time the enterprise has expanded its activities to two other areas.

Disaffected Youth

Many youth in Israel have become school and social dropouts. Some live on the streets, others have become embroiled in criminal activities, and none of them know how to break the cycle. All of them need help and rehabilitation.

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3C activists locate these youth through their Engaging & Enlisting Program. It provides comprehensive rehabilitation that teaches them how to break out of that harmful life cycle, turn a new page and enlist in the IDF.

Enlistment promotes rejoining normative society. During their military service, many learn a vocation or profession which, on release from the IDF, enables them to be productive, healthy citizens. Away from the lures of deleterious or criminal activities that in the long term are a burden to themselves and to society, these youth become contributing Israeli young adults who merge back into society in positive ways, working, studying, raising families and being supportive of their own communities.

Food Cards for Needy Families

Various life circumstances cause need, such as the loss of a family member, dealing with a difficult illness, unemployment, and more. As a result, these Israeli families find themselves unable to provide for even their most basic needs, including food. This lack affects daily functioning but is particularly noticeable on Sabbaths and Jewish festivals. Many of these families need temporary support until they are able to get back on their own two feet and return to self-sufficiency.

3C provides a solution which preserves these people's dignity. They distribute prepaid rechargeable credit cards earmarked for food purchases. This method ensures that donors’ kindheartedness is not taken advantage of through inappropriate purchases, while maintaining the recipients' independence and freedom of choice during the shopping experience.

Over time they have found that this form of support has helped families bridge temporary stressful periods on their way to recovering and returning to full normative functioning.

Visions and Goals

Aharon is driven by his Jewish values. "We aspire to fulfill the Talmudic axiom that 'all Israel are mutual guarantors for each other.' This approach motivates every 3C community activity as we do our part towards caring for others. We believe that mutuality is one of the unique and dominant traits of Israeli society, reflected in the way Israeli society supportively bands together during times of war or emergency. Applying the concept to a broader time frame, and based on our deep commitment to our society, we give to anyone who needs help also during times of normalcy and routine.

3C members bringing donuts to an Israeli army base

“As an association whose members belong to the ultra-Orthodox sector, we view our activities as outreach that links diverse populations within Israeli society, with emphasis on strengthening our sector’s ties to the IDF through direct contact with the soldiers who ensure our continued existence in Israel. We believe that the power of giving and love can bridge any disparity or difference, link people from all walks of life, and bring good into everyone’s lives."

September 30, 2017

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