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May 2023

May 2023

           Dear Friend of Israel,

Terrorism is on the rise. We can no longer brush aside the terrorist attacks as random acts of violence by lone terrorists acting without direction. These attacks are orchestrated by Hamas in Gaza, encouraged by Iran and coordinated through terrorist networks throughout the Middle East. On a single night during Passover, more rockets were fired at the Galillee than any other time since 2006. Rockets were fired from Gaza, riots erupted on the Temple Mount and terrorists are shooting and murdering innocent people all over Israel.

But one attack and one family has stood out for us. On Friday the 7th of April, in the middle of the Passover holiday, the Dee Family left Efrat to travel north for the holiday. They traveled in two cars – the father, Leo, in a car with two daughters and a son, the mother, Lucy, in a car with another two daughters. As they drove north through the Jordan Valley, a terrorist spotted the mother’s car, made a U-turn in the middle of the road om order to aim an automatic weapon at the beautiful women enjoying their trip north. The two daughters, Maya and Rina, were killed instantly. Lucy was critically injured and died a few days later.

The Dee family made Aliyah from London nine years ago. Leo is a rabbi and teacher as well as an engineer. They settled in Efrat, a large town in Judea which is home to many new immigrants from English-speaking countries. Upon their arrival in Efrat, they immediately became involved in community affairs. The girls volunteered with local initiatives. The family enjoyed hiking in Israel.

Residents lined the streets of Efrat waving Israeli flag in support of the family as the funeral procession passed by. Standing together at the two funerals, just days apart, the four remaining family members hugged each other and cried. And as I listened to Leo declare his faith in G-d and his hope for our people, he inspired us all. This is a family who is making a difference every single day. This is a family whose strength and inner solidarity is truly a lighthouse for us all.

In these days of terror from without and ongoing demonstrations from within, the Dee family have given us strength, to believe in ourselves and to rejoice in what we have. They are not a family who sought the limelight, but their tragedy thrust them into the center of our living rooms. We are eager to comfort them, but in the end, they have strengthened us. And they have reminded us of our resilience and of our tenacity, for our faith, for our land and for our people. The Nation of Israel Lives! Am Yisrael Chai!


Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office

P.S. Enclosed you will find our newest Heartland Story. I hope you will read how you are helping to save lives through your donations for surveillance cameras in Kedumim. As shown by the horrific terror attack on the Dee family, surveillance cameras can prevent terror attacks and also help emergency services rush to the scene of an attack. Thank you for blessing Israel and helping to save lives.