When I was a teen in the 1980s I remember wearing a metal bracelet with the name of a Soviet Refusenik, a Jew who was denied permission to emigrate to Israel. As we began to learn the names of the 240+ hostages taken by Hamas during their horrific and barbarous attack on the residents of Southern Israel on October 7, 2023 I recalled that silver metal bracelet I used to wear. The idea struck me that we must hold on to the names of the hostages, share them and never let the world forget their torment and danger. I also wanted to do something to help raise money for the families and all of those in Israel forever changed and impacted by October 7.
I'm a rabbi, and an entrepreneur with a small side business in Jewish Software (www.mitzvahtools.com I had everything I needed to set up this initiative and to raise money and awareness about the plight of the hostages.
So the idea for www.TillTheyAllComeHome.com was born. A few long nights at my computer and some contacts in the fabricating and manufacturing industry and 5000+ bracelets, 50 of each of the names and ages of the 240 hostages are sitting in my garage waiting for wrists that will remind the wearer and all who see them that we will not forget them, we will not rest, "Till They All Come Home".
Each bracelet is made of stainless steel and laser engraved with the name of one of the 240+ hostages. The bracelets are 15.2cm (6.0") L x 9mm (0.35") W x 1mm. They are C shaped and can be adjusted by hand to fit any wrist. The bracelet your order will be randomly selected from amongst the 240 known names of hostages. Its not possible for me to handle requests for specific hostage names. Once your order is received they will be shipping within 7 business days to the address you provide. The cost of shipping in the US or Canada is included in the price.
100% of all net proceeds will be donated to the Jewish Federation of North America Israel Emergency Fund. Why JFNA's Israel Emergency Fund? There are so many good and worthwhile charities and organizations supporting Israel right now, JFNA has proven track record, helps the whole of the Jewish community and, well if you can't trust the Jewish Federation... We have enough to worry about I trust that Federation will make sure that our tzedakah gets to the people in Israel that need it most. If not I'll cancel my pledge next year! :)
I ask myself that question every morning when I look in the mirror. I am a Reform Rabbi currently serving as the senior Rabbi of Temple Sholom, in Vancouver BC. Canada. Prior to that I was the associate Rabbi at Temple Judea in Los Angeles, CA. I was ordained by HUC-JIR in 2000, where I also obtained a Masters of Arts Degree in Jewish Education. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. As a teen I was the 65th International President (Grand Aleph Gadol) of AZA from 1989-1990. My mom and maternal grandparents were all Jewish educators and my dad was Temple President of our Reform Temple and our Conservative Synagogue (long story, I had two Bar Mitzvahs on the same weekend). From age 8-13 we spent most of our shabbatot at Chabad. I guess you could say I have followed in the family business.
I'm pretty busy as the Senior Rabbi of our 1,000 household shul, so this little project has become a family enterprise, my incredibly patient and understanding wife and our three children all help process the orders, stuff the envelopes, sticker them, seal them and help mail them. When we say, "we are all in this together" - thats what it means in our family.
My greatest prayer is that all the hostages are released and I am stuck with boxes of bracelets that never need to be worn, maybe I will melt them down and make something beautiful from the nightmare that has befallen our people. But until then, we can turn stainless steel into prayers for their safe return, a reminder to those that see the bracelet on your wrist that more than 200 human beings are being held hostage by brutal terrorists simply because they are Jews, Israelis or happened to be in southern Israel on Oct 7. And we can turn all of that into some significant tzedakah to help our people in this time of crisis.