"ACTIONISRAEL" celebrates 12th year with "BOOKS FOR ISRAEL"- 30,000 books to date!!

April, 2014: "ActionIsrael" is pleased to announce yet another successful year with one of its ongoing projects “The Jade Bar-Shalom Books for Israel” project. We are beginning our twelfth year of partnering with this worthwhile and highly successful program. The Denver community alone has shipped approximately 30,000 books to schools throughout Israel since "ActionIsrael" became involved in 2002. In April 2014, 1000 books were sent to Israel: four boxes to Ruhama, four to Givat Shmuel elementary school, and three to Iskal high school.

Gently used children’s English books have made their way to Israel’s Jewish, Druze, Bahai and Arab Christian and Muslim schools. As English is a key to higher education, international trade, diplomacy and global communication and employment, this is a very practical project. When two sisters, American Rena Cohen and Israeli Jade Bar-Shalom started "Books for Israel", the Israeli economy was struggling, and the tourist trade had collapsed due to the terrorist and Intifada attacks. The Israeli government budget could no longer provide adequate English language resources to schools.

Joan Baronberg responded to a request for help after reading about the "Books for Israel" project in the Hadassah Magazine, and initiated a book drive in Denver, Colorado, appealing for help through "ActionIsrael". Three members from the Christian community volunteered: Tami Knopping, Lynne McDowell and Kathy Chavez. Tami, the coordinator, does most of the actual work – which involves soliciting for donation of books, storing the books in her garage, sorting, as well as donating books which can't be sent to local groups in need. Lisa Engbar is also coordinator, and networks to find collection points and get other organizations and schools involved. Nancy Moodie is a school teacher and is continually collecting books and her husband Mike helps with packing day. 85-year-old Bob Guttsmann is continuously on call to pick up books from donors. What has made this project unique is that it involves both the Jewish and Christian communities in the Denver area, thus helping to develop a stronger bond between the two communities as well as helping Israeli children and families.

Tami Knopping and Lynn McDowell (with guitar) at the Buena-Nujidat junior-high school, in the Upper Galilee

If you are interested in conducting a book drive through an organization or as an individual, please email actionisraelco@gmail.com. Also greatly needed are funds to cover the costs of shipping which has tripled since May 2007 due to postal changes in shipping printed materials. You can send donations to: ActionIsrael, P.O. Box 18040, Denver, CO 80218.

Thank you so much for your interest in and possible support of Israeli children in all ethnic groups working to be better equipped to face the future.