Youth pitch in to support Israel

Some people complain that support for Israel is waning as terrorism continues and the chances of peace remain dim. Even in good times, only 22 percent of American Jews have ever been to Israel. But now very few of us are going. It's imperative that we find other ways of showing our devotion to Israel.

In this week's paper we have three articles that tell the story of young people who have displayed such strong support for Israel that it may leave the rest of us embarrassed for not doing enough.

On Page One we tell the story of Emily Dubois, a 17-year-old Palo Alto High School student, who is trying to collect 1.5 million pennies — $15,000 — to aid struggling Israeli families who have lost loved ones to acts of terror.

She is toting milk jugs and jars to synagogues and day schools, asking people to pitch in.

Dubois is not alone in such tzedakah efforts.

On our North Bay page we have a story about Danielle Bogaards, a Mill Valley eighth-grader, who collected 100 teddy bears that were sent off to Israel's Hadassah hospital and given to children who were hurt in terror attacks or whose family members were injured.

Bogaards got the idea a year ago when she was assigned a bat mitzvah project in preparation for her big day at Congregation Emanu-El. She recently concluded her project and the teddy bears are on their way to Israel.

We also reported on another campaign to help Israel at U.C. San Diego. Although some readers may find the effort somewhat distasteful, it certainly got the students' attention and created positive discussion about the Jewish state. That means the drive was a success.

Hillel students distributed condoms and T-shirts that proclaimed "Israel: It's still safe to come."

This was part of a larger project called "Got Israel?" that included a number of other campus in support of the Jewish state. In another instance, the Hillel students paraded around campus with banners proclaiming "Got Israel?" and "Got Milk…and Honey?"

We should all salute these young people for their accomplishments. Our hope is that in the future we'll see more and more such projects.