The Mitzvah of Helping
Eyal Levy is a valued veteran staff member at Jacobs Camp who served as our Solelim Unit Head in 2022 and 2023. When he left camp this summer to return home to Israel, he did not expect that he would soon be called to military reserve duty in response to the horrific October 7 terrorist attack.
On November 16, I arrived in Israel with a small leadership group from the Central Conference of American Rabbis. I quickly received a Facebook message from Eyal, asking if I knew anybody else who would soon be traveling to Israel. His unit needed gloves! They had secured funding and a vendor, but they needed somebody to bring the gloves from the U.S. to Israel.
I reached out to my rabbinic colleagues and quickly learned that Rabbi Josh Weinberg, Vice President for Israel and Reform Zionism, planned to leave for Israel on the Saturday night after Thanksgiving. Having served in the IDF himself, Rabbi Weinberg was honored to be offered the mitzvah of helping a valued URJ camp staff member and the IDF.
The gloves were delivered to Rabbi Weinberg’s Brooklyn home just in time for his departure. A friend of Eyal’s retrieved them from Rabbi Weinberg’s Jerusalem hotel, and Eyal got them in the parking lot of his IDF base as he returned from leave. Eyal took the time to send us a photo. His intent was to show that he had received the gloves, and I’m pleased about that. So much more, though, hundreds of Jacobs campers and staff will be happy simply to see his face with its trademark smile, even as he goes back to war.
About the Author
Rabbi Barry Block is the Faculty Dean of Jacobs Camp. Rabbi Block serves at Congregation B’nai Israel in Little Rock, AR and is the CCAR Vice President of Organizational Relationships.
“You send your kids to Jewish sleepaway camp in Mississippi? Wow, that sounds hot!” This refrain is one that my husband and HSJ Camp alum, Jacob, and I hear quite often–and usually, the next response we get is, “Why?!” As a family, we are members of a large...