From its inception in July, 2006, during the height of the Second Lebanon War, Yashar LaChayal has been providing for the basic needs of Israeli soldiers. During the war, the Moskowitz family of Miami Beach and a small group of volunteers worked together to purchase, collect and package much-needed supplies (basic toiletries, sunscreen, towels, undergarments and other necessities), and transported them directly to the soldiers on the front. On occasion, the volunteers themselves had to take shelter as katyusha rockets rained down. They drove far north, beyond the last civilian, to deliver supplies to the soldiers who were mobilized hastily and were running low on essentials. These volunteers met IDF units about to enter Lebanon, and sent additional supplies to soldiers deep in Lebanon.
This project, called Operation Northern Points by the volunteers, is documented by the photos below, taken from the car and near the front as the supplies were transported and delivered.
Operation Northern Points was made possible by the initial donation of the Moskowitz family who wrote that, “Our hearts and souls are with you” and looked to find a way to help the soldiers who risked their lives daily to defend Israel.
When the war ended, the volunteers continued to receive requests for supplies from army commanders. In response to this need, Yashar LaChayal was established as a recognized non-profit organization in Israel and the United States, dedicated to helping Israeli soldiers serving on the front lines and making them more comfortable while they are protecting the Jewish homeland.
Yashar LaChayal is unique in many ways. First, as a result of annual support from a donor family that funds operational and administrative costs, all funds raised through other sources are used to benefit the soldiers. Second, since its inception, strong relationships have developed between the director of Yashar LaChayal and army officials, enabling us to properly assess the needs of our soldiers and to fulfill them. Finally, Yashar LaChayal – Straight to the Soldier – means exactly that: we bring the goods to the army bases and speak directly with the soldiers, reminding them that we stand with them and that they have a huge wall of international Jewish support behind them.
Combat soldiers, the soldiers serving on the front lines to ensure Israel’s security, are the primary focus of Yashar LaChayal’s services. We reach out regularly to units in the north, on the borders of Lebanon and Syria, those serving in the south on the Egyptian border, to soldiers on our border with Gaza, and to the Special Forces – the elite units charged with tasks critical to our national security.