It was less than a month ago that we hosted our partners from Nahalal, a delegation of 10th-11th grade students from our partner community. Merely 24 hours passed from their landing in Israel to the outbreak of the war, an event that drastically changed their lives.

Very quickly, the whole moshav community was drafted to war: whether it is in the army, civil defense, for the community or the Israelis that had to evacuate their homes.

Nahalal residents holds a tradition of meaningful combat service in front-line and special-ops units, and currently, most of the Moshav’s men are drafted to reserve service. Many mothers were left to attend their babies and toddlers by themselves, in constant fear from rocket alerts. Education institutions and activities ceased, due to government orders or lack of workers, who were drafted. Bomb shelters who were not used for many years had to be remodeled; apartments prepared for housing dozens of families evacuated from northern or southern settlements, within range of danger.

All these assignments were dealt with by the Nahalal teens.

The kids we hosted just a few weeks ago volunteered to keep the Moshav running and prepared for war. Since schools were closed, teenagers spend their days preparing the Moshav’s old bomb shelters to activity, remodeling old houses and apartments for housing families who had to evacuate their homes and taking care of young children in the moshav’s kindergartens. Teenagers even volunteer for a
“sleepover” with families who grow little kids – since one mother can’t grab 2-3 toddlers and run to shelter by herself in case of a rocket alarm?

The adults of the moshav are very busy as well: whether it is within the community, running the moshav functioning without closer to half the workforce, hosting dozens of evacuated families or volunteering to aid southern kibbutzim, destructed in the Oct. 7 attack. One example is the case of Ofer Tamir, who just came back from chaperoning the teenager’s delegation to Ann Arbor. Tamir, together with other dairy farmers and ranchers, ran a massive-scale volunteer operation to evacuate cattle from the attacked and abandoned kibbutzim. You could hear more about his experience in this short podcast:

How can we support our friends and partners?

The short answer – show them that we care about them and support them.

If you ever participated in an exchange yourself, find the E-mail or phone number of someone you know from Nahalal and write to them.

It you wish to join in our community video message, press this link and video yourself with a short message to our Nahalali friends:

Donate to the Israel Emergency Fund:

Let’s keep the partnership running!