Sad news from Ma’agalim
July 25, 2014
A recent $30,000 grant from a Foundation fund holder was made to Ma’agalim, an organization that serves 7,000 at-risk youth at activity centers throughout Israel. Hundreds of Ma’agalim alumni now are in Gaza, risking their lives in order to protect and defend Israel. We got word yesterday that one of their “kids,” 19-year old Ben Itzhak Oanounou, was killed in action, along with six others hit with explosives in the Gaza Strip.
We asked for more information about 19 year-old Ben and were informed that “He came from a very poor and dangerous area in Ashdod. He was always running into trouble. When he entered the 11th grade and started thinking about the army, he was ready to take the easy route, a day job, so he could home in the evenings. But then he was introduced to Ma’agalim and his Madrich (counselor) Yoni. Because of Ma’agalim and Yoni, he realized that he wanted to make something of his life, to be a part of society, to make a difference and not resort back to his former lifestyle. He wanted to have a meaningful army service. Ben joined a mechina, a pre-military training program, and developed self-confidence and courage in himself. He was recruited by the elite unit, Golani, after one year in the mechina. When the first ground troop of Golani soldiers entered Gaza, they were ambushed. His entire unit was killed– 26 soldiers.”
We subsequently received another, almost apologetic, Ma’agalim email: “We are receiving many urgent requests for assistance from our alumni: food, shoes, socks, cell phone batteries. Please help our soldiers directly along with their commanding officers. If you would like to support our soldiers with a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.maagalim.org.”