Natalie Sopinsky, Susya, Israel, One Israel Fund
On Saturday night, January 23rd, an audience of 100 met with Marc Provisor, One Israel Fund Director of Security Projects and Natalie Sopinsky, OIF Director of Community Development. They described life in the communities of Judea and Samaria on the front lines of the latest Palestinian terror assault. Nessah Synagogue and Beth Jacob each hosted talks by Provisor, who tied in the weekly parshah with life in Judea and Samaria.
Nessah hosted the One Israel Fund pair at a 200-person luncheon and at a post-Shabbat dessert reception. The rooms were full of Israel supporters from the Los Angeles community, including Simon Etehad, Past President of Nessah; Dr. Shahid Sadik; Rich Bloom, Esq; Sari and Ariyah Arshadnia; Fran and Stuart Miller; Seth Swirsky; and Denis Bieber.
Natalie Sopinsky told her story of life in Susya, a community in the Har Hevron region south of Hebron. She described living just twelve kilometers from Otniel, the community where Dafna Meir was brutally murdered the prior week. Sopinsky stood at the podium with clenched fist and steady voice and related that she will always remember exactly where she was and what she was doing when she learned Dafna was murdered. “Dafna was a mother of six and was murdered because she was a Jew, living in the heartland of Israel. Just like me.”
One Israel Fund Director of Security Projects, Marc Provisor, is a former IDF paratrooper who served ten years as civilian security chief (Ravshatz) for the Shilo region. Provisor, a straight-talking counter-terror expert, regularly consults and coordinates with the Israeli Defense Forces to enhance security for the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria, and the communities bordering Hamas-controlled Gaza. One of his recent contributions to the security of these regions is an armored ballistic vest he designed and developed for civilian security directors. Provisor’s vests proved so effective that the IDF has recently adopted the design. Provisor regularly conducts security assessments throughout Judea, Samaria and the Gaza-border communities, recommends technological security upgrades, and plays a central role fund-raising to acquire needed defensive equipment. Urgently needed equipment includes thermal cameras, burn kits and emergency medical equipment.
One Israel Fund also raises funds for daily life improvements, including playgrounds and community centers for the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. Sopinsky and Provisor noted that the residents of these communities uniformly report a high quality of life, though objectively their standard of living is disturbingly low. 400,000 Jews now live throughout Judea and Samaria. These residents love their families and love life. As Sopinsky noted, “We are the same as you. I invite you to come and see where I live; to come see the beauty I see every day.”