Tuesday, May 31, 2005
help send celestial blue to Israel!

Some of you know me and have been reading my blog for some time now, and some of you may be new. For those of you who are new, let me get you up to speed as to what this is all about....

Several months ago I wrote to the folks at Livnot U'Lehibanot to get information on their 5 month program in Israel (kinda like an extended Birthright trip). For my non-Jewish readers, Birthright trips are free educational trips given to young Jews in order to help them connect with Israel and their Jewish roots and often inspires them to make aliyah (move to Israel) later on. They show them the country, the people and how life really is there.

At any rate, I had contacted them for more information about their 5 month program as I had just returned from a brief trip to Israel and was thirsting for more of an experience. My two trips at two weeks a piece the past couple of years just weren't doing it for me. I wanted to see and experience more, including what it's like to really live there. Who knows, it might even inspire me to move too....

Before I knew it I was having a phone interview with someone in Jerusalem and after a lengthy conversation I was accepted into the program. All this from just filling out a form online for more information! I hadn't even applied! I took this as a sign and started working on a plan.... how can I afford to drop everything and walk away from my life here in Canada to go and have an experience of a lifetime in a country I love and support? I would need help... lots of help. And I would need financial aid.

Livnot (in conjunction with MASA) accepts applications for financial aid, so I have sent my application in and am now waiting for a response (which I am told is coming June 15th). However, my guess is that, at best, I will receive only about half of what I need. This still puts me nearly $4,000 short of what I will need to cover tuition, flight, and living expenses (including storage for all my belongings back here at home... I will have to get rid of my apartment). Where then will I come up with the rest of the money?

I needed to come up with a way to raise funds, and asking for straight donations isn't my style; I prefer to offer something in exchange for someone's kindness. So after much deliberation I have designed a bracelet and had it made to my specifications (you see it pictured in blue, above). The bracelet says "Am Yisrael Chai" which means "The People of Israel Live" (or if you prefer, "The Nation of Israel Lives"). I felt it was important to make my fundraising idea Israel-based, and this idea made me happy because it isn't really political (I don't pick left or right here, or disengagement, anti-disengagement) and it would be good for my non-Jewish supporters as well. Whosoever buys it will simply be showing their support for Israel (and me!).

So here's the deal.... each bracelet will cost $12USD. Shipping for 1-3 bracelets will be $2.00, 4-10 bracelets = $5.00, 11-20 bracelets = $8.00, 21-40 bracelets = $11.00 and 41-60 bracelets $13.00. If you buy more than that I will ship them for free and name my first born after you. *wink*

For a better look at the bracelet you can head over to my photoblog and see pics here, here and here. Otherwise, click the little Buy Now button and show me how much you love me and want to see me in Israel.

If donating and/or bracelets aren't your thing perhaps you could help by giving me a little press..... a mention on your blog would be much appreciated. Any and all help is gratefully accepted!