With his bar mitzvah approaching, Uriel Simpson knew he wanted to take on a special mitzvah project that would truly make a difference. With the myriad chesed opportunities available to b’nai mitzvah children, he finally focused on aiding chayalim, particularly those on the front lines. Together with his father, Uriel spoke with local families with loved ones serving in the Israeli armed forces and ultimately decided that Yashar LaChayal was the organization he wanted his mitzvah project to assist.
Yashar LaChayal is an organization with “no overhead, so all donations go directly to purchasing needed items for the soldiers,” said Mordy Simpson, Uriel’s father. “It provides necessary assistance to soldiers and their families that would not be provided by the Israeli army.”
According to Leon Blankrot, Executive Director of Yashar LaChayal, “What makes us unique is that every single donation goes straight to purchasing tangible items for the soldiers. There is a wonderful, generous couple in Miami Beach, Florida, that provides for all of our operating expenses, ensuring all donations go directly to needy soldiers.”
The IDF covers most necessities and Yashar LaChayal provides the rest—whether winter weather gear like thermal pants and shirts, gloves, fleece jackets and more, or summer items such as camelbacks (backpacks that store easily accessible drinking water).
Said Blankrot, “Our focus is on meeting the needs of combat soldiers, specifically those not receiving donations from elsewhere, such as tank, border patrol and artillery.”
Uriel is planning on working directly with Blankrot so that he can deliver needed items directly to the soldiers on an upcoming trip to Israel. He will coordinate with the organization to ascertain the greatest need at that time, and will personally bring the requested items to that location.
Simpson commented, “This is a great lesson to people, to make them aware of this organization and to give them this great cause to donate to. Every small donation goes toward helping the soldiers out.”
To make a donation, please visit Uriel’s page at https://www.yasharlachayal.org/campaigns/uriels-bar-mitzvah-campaign/.
By Jill Kirsch