Oct 11 (Reuters) – An hour after Rabbi Jonathan Leener put out a call for donations among his small Brooklyn synagogue community, he had raised $5,000. Soon he had taken in enough supplies to fill an SUV.
The contributions included everything from sleeping bags to toiletries for the 300,000 reservists – some of whom live in the United States – called up by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.
“I think people here feel somewhat helpless being so far away, so the response from people has been really dramatic in the best way possible,” Leener said, noting that many community members have immediate family in Israel.
In the days since Hamas attacked Israel, that response has translated into contributions of millions of dollars, loads of military gear and mountains of clothing, food and household supplies from Jewish communities across the United States. Items have ranged from granola bars to boots and bulletproof vests.