Sally Gerstein and her husband, Dr. Howie Gerstein, made Aliyah two years ago. Their son, Josh, a Ner Israel graduate, married to Devorah Kagan, a Baltimore Bais Yaakov graduate, also moved to Israel. Josh serves as a captain in the Israeli army and acts as a chaplain.

When the war broke out, Sally began writing a daily blog for herself and her friends. It gained immense popularity, with many in the States eagerly awaiting it every morning.

Some of you may recall Sally as the pioneer who introduced the kosher stand to Hershey Park and Dutch Wonderland. Wherever there's a cause or a need, Sally is there, front and center. Now, she requests all of you to sign the letter!

Please read on...

How can it be? 

An initiative to garner 180,000 signatures on a letter to President Biden for the 180 days of Turmoil in Israel may not reach its goal. Yes, there is still over 24 hours left and yes, many people are procrastinators but still what does it say about American Jewry and supporters of Israel in the United States. Not only should the goal have been met but surpassed. According to the Pew Research Center in 2020 there were 7.5 million Jews in the United States. Is it possible that less than 2.4% of American Jewry will take the time to sign a letter asking President Biden to support Israel, combat antisemitism and secure the release of the hostages? We can agree to disagree on how the war should end, the day after in Gaza, but we all can agree that all those being held in captivity dead and alive must be released. Americans being apathetic is sending a message of despair and not hope to the families. 

 How can it be? 

 That one of the iconic phrases in the Passover Haggadah, “Let My People Go” uttered by Moshe is still relevant today. The phrase was used in the 1970’s for the freedom of Soviet Jewry. I never imagined while marching with my father in Washington that the phrase would still be relevant and needed in 2024. But it is and needs to become more than just a rallying cry. According to Kate Krontiris, a civic researcher and strategist, “48.9 percent of the US adult population is made up of “interested bystanders,” They pay attention to issues and value civic engagement, but they find it difficult to publicly voice their opinions or take action.” Actions speak louder than words. I am asking you to be invested…leave your comfort zone. I did. The first step is signing the letter. For those you have signed, the second step is to forward it to someone who may not have seen it yet and encourage them to sign. Do we not owe it to all the families of the hostages to keep spreading the word of their ongoing captivity? Signing a letter does matter and does make a difference; to the families, the Jewish People, and to yourself. By acknowledging that your voice does count you have become a role model. Use this newfound voice to teach your children/grandchildren about empathy and how they too can make a difference by signing a letter. Our future is in their hands.

 How can it be? 

 That as we make plans for our Passover Seder so many families are facing the holiday with an empty chair/chairs at their table. We will never be able to fathom their grief, but we can help them with their burden by remembering their loved ones. I am sure as Passover approaches there will be many initiatives on how to incorporate the heart-wrenching situation into your seder. The seder tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt. With G-D's help may the Exodus from Gaza for our hostages and defenders be speedily in our day. Together we will all recite the words at the end of the Haggadah, Next Year in Jerusalem.