The powerful story of his support for Israel
Ric Edelman: It's Monday, November 6th. We are all continuing to watch with horror at what is occurring in Israel and Gaza, as Israel continues to defend itself against the Hamas attack against Israel last month. One of the financial advisors at Edelman Financial has strong ties to Israel. He has a lot of family there. His two sons are going to school there. One is in high school, one is in college, and JB has made the decision that he is not going to stand idly by here in the United States while his children and other family members are in harm's way.
JB has decided to take a leave of absence from Edelman Financial, and he has flown to Jerusalem and he is now engaging in the fight himself, personally. I've continued to be in touch with JB and he has recently sent me an email. I asked him to describe what is going on. Let me read to you, with his permission, portions of the email that he sent to me. He said:
Ric, the situation here is dire. Israel was caught off guard with the attack and now is dealing with the possibility of the war spreading to all fronts. The soldiers don't have enough bulletproof vests, warm clothes or medical supplies. Last week we supplied soldiers with the bare necessities – socks, long underwear, towels, gloves, blankets – I've been driving supplies along the Gaza border. I've raised $40,000 this week, and a good chunk came from my fellow non-Jewish planners at Edelman Financial. The Israeli Defense Force has now asked me to get funding to pay a nonprofit organization that makes portable solar panel units for frontline positions. Modern warfare needs to keep soldiers' cell phones fully charged, and instead of taking huge batteries back to the base to recharge, the solar panels keep the small electronics powered. They cost $850 each, and I bought 13 of them so far. Last night I paid for a huge barbecue for 500 soldiers at an army base outside Gaza. The Israeli army is not equipped to serve warm meals to 400,000 soldiers, so they get lots of tuna fish sandwiches. Many soldiers were coming back from operations in full battle gear and were so grateful for hot food. It only cost me $1,200 to feed the 500 soldiers, as I was able to buy the chicken at cost. Around 40 soldiers thanked me and told me that the barbecue and warm food meant so much to them. On a macro level, people here are confused, worried, and angry that half the world seems indifferent or against us. The world is divided into those that love and support us and those who seek our destruction. My return ticket was supposed to be on Nov. 12, but I can't imagine leaving Israel in the middle of a war when I can stay and help out. My two teenage boys are busy volunteering here. Three of my cousins are at the front.
That's an email from JB, a financial advisor at Edelman Financial who has put his career and his life on hold to engage in the existential fight for Israel's survival by supporting the soldiers directly on the front lines.
If you would like to financially support the Israelis and the defense of their nation, there are three organizations I want to suggest to you: Friends of the IDF, which is at FIDF.org. Magen David Adom, which is the Israeli Red Star of David, that's their version of the Red Cross – at AFMDA.org. And Innovation Africa, that's the nonprofit organization that makes the portable solar power units that JB’s email described – you can contact them at innoafrica.org, that’s innoafrica.org.