It was just a year ago that the first Gush Katif Museum Dinner was held at the Razag Ballroom, 739 East New York Avenue in Brooklyn. At the time, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, founder and president of the museum, had contacted Dr. Joseph Frager, Dr. Paul Brody, and Odeleya Jacobs, founders of the World Committee (now the International Committee) for the Land of Israel, and Helen Freedman, executive director of American Friends For a Safe Israel (AFSI) about running the benefit dinner for the Gush Katif museum. Ambassador John Bolton and radio and TV personality Glenn Beck were both on the program, along with a host of others. It was a remarkable evening, filled with animated guests and brilliant talk.
Following in the tradition set last year, Rabbi Wolpo has once again planned an amazing evening for March 9 at 8 p.m., with Dr. Joseph Frager acting as chairman of the evening. The featured speaker will be Governor Mike Huckabee, a favorite of those who welcome truth and civility in reporting. Governor Huckabee has been to Israel many times and visited the Gush Katif Museum in 2009 at the urging of Odeleya Jacobs and Drs. Frager and Brody. They, Helen Freedman, Assemblyman Dov and Shani Hikind, Sara Lehmann, Ruben Margules, Joe Stamm, Mel Wadler, Zev Brenner, and others, were there with him when Mrs. Rivka Goldschmidt, a refugee from the Gush Katif expulsion, spoke to him passionately about the plight of the Gush Katif refugees. Rivka Goldschmidt will be at the dinner to recount her experiences and those of her neighbors. Her story is sure to touch your heart.
Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson will also be speaking on behalf of the rabbis of the Crown Heights synagogues. Multimedia displays will be shown about the lives of the Gush Katif residents, as well as work executed by the former residents themselves. Guests of Honor for the evening include Rabbi Sholom Ber Drizin, Rabbi David Algaze, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and Helen Freedman. The Dinner Committee is chaired by Dr. Paul Brody and includes many distinguished members of the Jewish community, including Larry Gordon, 5TJT publisher and editor.
Musicians YONI and Choni Milecki will be performing during the evening.
A moving interview with Rachel Saperstein, one of the spokeswomen for the Gush Katif community, with Josh Hasten, has just been circulated. In the interview, Rachel describes her frustration and disappointment in the government’s failure to act more quickly in enabling the still-displaced persons to move into their permanent homes. The semi-annual AFSI Chizuk mission to Israel meets with the Sapersteins, Anita Tucker, and others each time they are in Israel. They saw the 21 flourishing communities before they were destroyed and visited the temporary caravans in which most of the people have been living since 2005. They have also seen some of the new homes and new communities, all of which are developing very slowly. Since it was not just their homes that people saw destroyed by the demolition crews when the 10,000 residents were forcibly removed from Gush Katif, but entire communities and farms, rebuilding is a laborious and costly exercise.
The Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem is a must-visit on every itinerary. Please plan to attend the dinner and encourage your relatives, friends, and neighbors to join you. To RSVP, please call 718-208-1770, or mail your check to Friends Of Gush Katif Museum, 383 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213, suite 155; or e-mail: Dinner@GushKatifMuseum.org; or pay online with your credit card: www.gushkatifmuseum.org. All contributions are tax-deductible. v