New Parliamentary Lobby in Knesset to help and support the underprivileged in Israel.
🇺🇸December 3rd, 2020 – a special event took place to celebrate the establishment of the new Parliamentary Lobby in the Knesset for “Strengthening and Supporting Underprivileged Population Groups” at the Helping Hand Coalition Villa in Caesarea.
Knesset Member Tali Ploskov made the official lobby request as a joint initiative with Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum. On November 22nd, 2020, the Secretary of the Knesset approved the official lobby registration, and Rita Tager was appointed as the General Director of the Lobby, with Dr. Andre Gasiorowski, Daniel Rozen, Lea Shemtov, Mili Fleitman, Gita Koifman, Luke Gasiorowski, and Larisa Stadler as its initial members.
In celebration of this establishment, Helping Hand Coalition invited all leaders and partners of Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum and all associated organizations to Caesarea to become official members of the lobby. This event would usually occur at the Knesset in Jerusalem; however, due to the Covid-19 regulations, in which only four people are permitted to gather in the Knesset chambers, the meeting was moved to the Helping Hand Coalition Caesarea Villa so that many more participants could gather.
Throughout the event, all of the guests and participants were given a few minutes to speak and share their gratitude to Knesset Member Tali Ploskov and the Helping Hand Coalition for starting up this lobby. They then shared about the activities of their organizations, along with the populations and people they support.
At one point, a video was shown highlighting the projects and events that have happened since Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum’s founding. Taking the audience down memory lane with the incredible work that has already been done, the three-minute video filled attendees’ hearts with the hope of what is to come in the future. There is still a lot of work to be done, but Dr. Andre Gasiorowski assures, “We won’t stop until they are all helped.”
Thank you to everyone who took part in the event. Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum wishes to give a special thanks to Rita Tager and Tali Ploskov for making this lobby happen, as well as the Israeli leaders, organizations, and all the friends from the evangelical Christians and Messianic community who have supported Helping Hand Coalition since the very beginning.
Among the attendees were Israeli state representatives:
- Tali Ploskov – Knesset Member
- Leah Shemtov – Former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset
- Aaron Azulay – Former General Director of Ministry for Senior Citizens
- Rita Tager – Director General of the Knesset Lobby
Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum representatives:
- Dr. Andre Gasiorowski – Chairman of Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum
- Luke Gasiorowski – Executive Director of Helping Hand Coalition
- Bozena Gasiorowski – Co-founder and Board Member of Helping Hand Coalition
- Igal Even Ziv – Board Member of Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum
Leaders of the Israeli organizations and congregations:
- Mila Fleitman – Chairman of Disaster Victims for the Future;
- Gita Koifman – Chairman of the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors
- Dr. Rachel Shapira – Educational Bridge (Gesher Hinuchi)
- Boris Burle – Deputy Chairman at the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors
- Dmitry Yudkievich – management member at the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors
- Larisa Stadler – representative of the Alliance of the World Nations
- Ilia Levin – President of Gate of Culture (Amutat She’rei Tarbut)
- Avi & Chaya Mizrahi – CEO of Dugit Center / Pastor at Adonai Roi in Tel Aviv
- Tony Sporandeo – Pastor of Maayan Congregation in Kfar Saba
- Peter Tsukahira – Co-Founder of Kehilat HaCarmel – Isfiya and Carmel area
- Jeremiah Dairo – Pastor of Lift Up Your Head Ministry in Tel Aviv
- Evan Liberman – Founder & CEO of Wise Money Israel
- Sarah Liberman – Founder & Director of Ascend Music
- Ricki Gidoomal – Chief of Staff of the Institute for Biblical Languages & Translation;
- Gilad & Magi Rosinger – Chairman & CCO of Radiant Group Israel
As the global coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, it was refreshingly pleasant and exciting to attend (within the government’s Covid-19 guidelines and regulations) an event that honored the many good deeds that took place in a year filled with so much anguish. Although not everyone could physically attend, it was heartwarming to watch the brief video messages of the Helping Hand Coalition partners who joined this celebration, digitally, from their countries, including:
- Roger West (USA) – Chairman of God’s Grace International (GGI)
- Harald Eckert (Germany) – Chairman of Christians for Israel (C4I)
- Klaus Dewald (Germany) – Chairman of GAiN Germany (Global Aid Network)
- Johnny Kim (S.Korea) – President of GCN (Global Christian Network)
- Norbert Palimaka (Poland) – President of ESPA and OBDS Foundation
- Daniel Rozen (Israel) – Executive Board Member of Helping Hand Coalition
For all of the guests who were able to attend in person, here is what they shared:
Member Tali Ploskov began the meeting stating, “This lobby aims to help the underprivileged people in need in the State of Israel and to be able to provide support to those who need it the most.” She continued to mention that she has heard, first hand, the deep appreciation of underprivileged people who receive support from organizations in the field, such as from Helping Hand Coalition. This is why it’s important to join forces with additional organizations and unite efforts to aid those in need.
Dr. Andre Gasiorowski, Chairman of Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum, spoke,“This is a very special moment that has been in the works for the past year. Thanks to the persistence of Knesset Member Tali Ploskov, it is now done.” He then continued saying, “Our main goal in our life is to help other people. It’s not politics; it’s life.”
He also shared with the group about the history and background of Helping Hand Coalition, spanning close to 15 years of working with the Israeli government to help the survivors of the Holocaust and other populations in need in Israel.
Rita Tager, General Manager of the lobby, said, “This lobby will be a bridge for people who open their hearts to the needy. The organizations that are sitting here with us today, whom I have worked with for years, have such big hearts.” Rita concluded by sharing, “It is very important that we have this lobby so that the Knesset will be aware of these needy people.”
Former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Leah Shetmov spoke and shared about her past 13 years with Helping Hand Coalition, since its early inception, and of how extremely fruitful its work has been. She then said that she is privileged to have been able to help pave the way towards such an initiative with the Knesset. Before ending her speech, Leah blessed this influential lobby and its work.
Former CEO of Ministry for Senior Citizens, Aharon Azulay spoke and said, “As former CEO of the Ministry for Senior Citizens for five years, I saw the government’s difficulty to provide for the real needs of their senior citizens, in particular the survivors of the Holocaust. There is a huge gap that many groups of people are left in, far greater than the state could handle, between providing for the basic essentials of those who need it and having those needs met. Also, the lack of knowledge of many people regarding what their basic legal rights and benefits really are leaves many behind during their hardest times of need.”
Aharon continued saying that he sees the non-profit sector’s services (also known as the “third sector”) as vital to the country, to the government, and all of Israeli society. However, these non-profit organizations need a ‘place’ to operate from, as unfortunately, the municipalities and local authorities sometimes unintentionally hurt and interfere with the non-profit activities. Therefore it’s important for this lobby to exist, as it will provide a safe and productive ‘place’ for this important sector.
“Light casts out darkness, and it’s important to keep the torch lit, which is the determination of these efforts so that the darkness would be kept out.” Aharon said before thanking Andre Gasiorowski and the Helping Hand Coalition for the ability to connect ‘the east and the west’ as well as people from within Israel and abroad for such joint efforts.
Pastor Avi Mizrahi, CEO of DUGIT Center in Tel Aviv, shared about their distribution center, which helps the needy survivors of the Holocaust, new immigrants (Olim Hadashim), single mothers, and other populations in need. Avi also gave a brief background for why he does what he does, which included being the son of a man born in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he endured Nazi persecution as a child and miraculously survived the Holocaust.
Avi also spoke that his core values have always been the love of the country, Zionism, and a readiness to build up the Land. He continued to say that, “As non-profit organizations, it is essential to come together in this lobby in unity so that we can become an example to the government; because, as organizations, we operate and share our resources in unity and not competition. We support one another and help one another because it is within our values, faith, and reflection of the God of Israel.”
Gita Koifman, Chairman of the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors, spoke about their association. She shared how sadly the association is decreasing in numbers as many of their survivors of the Holocaust are passing away and how significantly they have shrunk throughout the years. Their average member is 85 years of age. Their survivors immigrated in the 1990s from different countries, and most of them arrived in Israel with nothing but a suitcase. Their beginnings here were very challenging as they immigrated to Israel as elderly individuals, not knowing the language and not being able to provide for themselves in their new homeland. It was extremely difficult for them to cope with, so the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors was formed to help the survivors handle their new life. Gita went on to thank Helping Hand Coalition for its significant support for their survivors of the Holocaust for over 13 years, saying that it is has been an extremely powerful force of support for their members.
Andre Gasiorowski stood once again to say that the Helping Hand Coalition was started after meeting and hearing Gita share many years ago. This meeting resulted in discovering for the first time about the humanitarian crises of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in the Jewish state of Israel who are in need and live in such challenging situations.
Tony Sporandeo, Pastor at Maayn Congregation in Kfar Saba, spoke about the organizations that he is responsible for which support the needy. These are organizations led by Jewish people who believe in Yeshua (Messianic Jews), and therefore they also serve as a bridge between the Christian people and Judaism. Their center is in Kfar Saba, which provides humanitarian service to many survivors of the Holocaust in their community.
In addition, Tony is also chairman of BE’AD CHAIM – a pro-life organization that protects women’s rights to have children and, by doing so, saving babies at risk from death by abortions. He added, “We believe that each person was created in God’s image from being a baby in the womb until our natural death. Therefore we preserve and protect all of mankind and each person’s legal right to live.”
He concluded by sharing how very happy he was to be a part of the lobby and see that everyone attending has a heart to help the weakest of the population.
Larisa Stadler of Alliance of World Nations spoke and shared about her activities, including the cultural music work that they do with the youth. She added that what the Helping Hand Coalition and the present organizations are doing brings hope and direction as well as an opportunity for change and building the future. She concluded with a challenge to think about what we can do together to enhance this change for our future, for the sake of our children and the next generations.
Peter Tsukahira, the co-founder of Kehilat HaCarmel in Isfiya and the Carmel area, spoke about how he came to Israel as a new immigrant with his family many years ago. Today, he is part of a Messianic community which he co-founded in the Carmel area. The community provides different kinds of services to help Jews and Arabs.
Peter added that his roots are from the Far East, and his work includes building bridges between Asian Christians and the Land of Israel. There is a growing number of Asian Christian movements that have a heart to stand with Israel in many ways. Concluding, Peter thanked Andre, Helping Hand Coalition, and Knesset Member Tali Ploskov for their friendship, hospitality, and hosting of the event.
Mila Fleitman, Chairman of “Disaster Victims for the Future,” shared about their activities as they are the largest survivors of the Holocaust organization in Netanya with nearly 1,000 members.
She thanked the lobby for the opportunity to join the Lobby and to Andre Gasiorowski and the Helping Hand Coalition for the humanitarian support they receive regularly. This support includes distributing blankets, glasses, walking canes, walkers, and many other things that are needed and distributed to their survivors throughout the year.
Pastor Jeremiah Dairo, Lift Up Your Head Church in Tel Aviv, thanked Helping Hand Coalition for the opportunity to join the lobby. He shared about their work to help African refugees. With a center in Tel Aviv, they take care of many refugees. This care includes receiving food, helping with rent payments and various other bills, and projects for homeless refugees.
Pastor Jeremiah added that he has been very grateful to have worked with Helping Hand Coalition for the past 13 years and for all of the assistance he has received from the organization.
Luke Gasiorowski, Executive Director of Helping Hand Coalition, took a moment to respond to Pastor Jeremiah by stating that Lift Up Your Head Church does very important work with the African refugees, including rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol, helping house the homeless, and giving the most extremely needy people in Tel Aviv a purpose in life.
Igal Even Ziv, Board Member of Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum, led the ceremony of presenting the MAN OF THE YEAR 2020 of HELPING HAND GLOBAL FORUMaward to Andre Gasiorowski. He shared that Andre upholds and excels in representing the Jewish concept of the individual’s responsibility towards his community as Andre has founded and continues to operate numerous activities and projects for the needy in Israel and worldwide.
Igal continued by speaking about the March of Life organization that he is an Israeli ambassador of. March of Life is a German organization whose members are descendants of Nazis, having recently discovered their fathers’ horrific actions during the Holocaust and have taken responsibility for it. The organization started its activities in Tübingen, Germany, and today operates in over 400 cities in over 30 countries worldwide. Their main activity is support for the State of Israel, support for the survivors of the Holocaust, combating widespread modern anti-semitism (even today, Jews are blamed for the Covid-19 outbreak) and works of reconciliation.
Igal is also a representative of the Polish organization called “The Foundation for Reconciliation,” which does similar work. “Each person has a place in our world,” Igal stated before continuing that the joint activities of all the present organizations validate this notion. He concluded that as a modern state in the 21st century, Israel has failed to support its underprivileged people in Israeli society who need help. Therefore, any organization and lobby to help these people, referring to this initiative, is blessed and welcomed.
Dr. Rachel Shapiro, of the GESHER HINUCHI (translated Educational Bridge), shared about their foundation operations in the city of Lod. She says: “From 80,000 people, 30% are Russian speaking. And of this 30%, a significant amount is survivors of the Holocaust.” Therefore her heart and concern are for the survivors of the Holocaust through activities such as music concerts at hostels and social clubs for the elderly. These activities allow the spirits of the survivors to be lifted, bringing them joy and hope. The organization also provides 150 warm meals three times a week.
Dr. Shapiro said, “The survivors tell me that this food helps them financially, but it also makes them feel good and encouraged that someone is taking care of them.” In one incident, she recalls a 92 survivor who asked if she could give her food to a person who is physically unable to come to the center to receive the food.” In her speech, Dr. Shapiro mentioned the humanitarian goods that she could distribute through Helping Hand Coalition’s assistance (e.g., blankets, many clothing items, coats, shoes).
In conclusion, she thanked Helping Hand Coalition for remembering them in Lod and for helping them, emphasizing the importance of this new lobby to continue doing good works to succeed because the government needs to be aware of the people in need, in particular the survivors of the Holocaust.
Evan Liberman, Founder and CEO of Wise Money Israel, thanked all the organizations for all that they have done to help with the people’s financial and socioeconomic needs in Israel.
He then shared about his background as he immigrated to Israel 25 years ago to build up the Land of Israel, and while he found that much of the building up was already done, there was a facet of the state that was still in need of development. As a result, today, he manages an Israeli investment firm that has raised 150 million shekels in capital. His company invests capital primarily from foreign investors, many of whom are evangelical Christians who want to bless Israel and invest in it, not only to give but to invest into and help build up the state.
He concluded that there is a strong need to bridge between Israel and the foreigners who want to invest and have close ties with Israel but don’t always know how to help. Therefore, this Knesset lobby is a very welcome initiative.
Sarah Liberman, Founder & Director of Ascend Music, shared her initiative, which involves music production, to encourage, build-up, and develop people’s souls, particularly those who went through life traumas and difficult events.
She expressed her happiness to see the younger generation involved in the lobby. She believes that part of the vision for Israel is to see the younger generation rise and take it upon themselves to take care of the underprivileged populations.
Sarah concluded by saying that everything the survivors of the Holocaust went through led to the establishment of the State of Israel, which is part of our history as a nation and cannot be forgotten. Therefore we must remember to take care of our survivors.
Ilia Levin, chairman of GATE OF CULTURE (Amutat She’rei Tarbut), said he was happy to see so many faces he knows at the meeting and that he is glad that so many people receive love, goodness, and help from the present organizations. Ilia also wished much success to the lobby and thanked everyone for joining.
Ricki Gidoomal, Chief of Staff at Institute for Biblical Languages & Translation, spoke about how interesting and important it was to hear the work done by the organizations, representing God’s Word and showing us how to love, help, and give to one another.
Ricki then continued to share his organization’s work to translate the Bible from Hebrew. “Many people don’t know, but 90% of the world’s population do not have the Bible translated into their language, and therefore they do not have access to the words of life in the Bible such as how to love and give.” His organization brings people into Israel to train them in the Hebrew language to return to their native home countries with the required tools and knowledge to successfully translate the Hebrew Bible into their local language. This way, they are able to give back to their people from Israel as they receive their training here.
Gilad Rosinger, CEO of RADIANT GROUP, shared a personal story about his grandfather, who was the only one in his family who wasn’t killed during the Holocaust. This was something that had always been a source of hurt for Gilad. Therefore, being associated with these activities for the survivors of the Holocaust and partaking in supporting and helping people just like his grandfather was an excellent healing process that God had brought him through.
Gilad then continued sharing about their activities to support the survivors of the Holocaust, including cooking and cleaning and organizing “Shalom Homes” for them. Then, also about the tourist business that they founded, which aims to bring international Christians to the Land of Israel to bless the Land and to get to know the people. He concluded with the need to continue doing good works and that this would help further Israel in its destiny and be a blessing from Israel to the world.
Maggie Gasiorowski – Rosinger, CCO of RADIANT GROUP, shared about her excitement to be part of the joint activities of Helping Hand Coalition and this new lobby. She then went to say that they represent the humanitarian work that is being done in the Galilee region. Magi also expanded on what Gilad had mentioned about their tourist company to bring international Christians to Israel to get to know the survivors of the Holocaust and then to be ambassadors for Israel when they return home.
Bozena Gasiorowski, Co-Founder & Board Member of Helping Hand Coalition, mentioned how happy she was to see everyone and excited to hear what each person and organization is doing. She concluded that hopefully, hearing all of our different sharings will help push the work forward.
Luke Gasiorowski, Executive Director of Helping Hand Coalition, thanked everyone for attending this exciting initiative and for trusting Helping Hand Coalition by taking the time to come and join. He concluded with hopeful remarks that this meeting will enable all parties to join forces and move the work and effort even further to help the people in need in Israel and bear more fruit in doing so.
Additional highlights from the event:
- During the event, a panel was held to thank everyone who had been part of the work established in 2007 and honor those who are dedicated to the work the Helping Hand Coalition is doing in Israel.
- Dr. Andre Gasiorowski was awarded by Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum as a “Man of the Year 2020” for his dedication to the survivors of the Holocaust in Israel, which was signed by all in attendance as a Scroll of Recognition.
- Gita Koifman, Chairman of the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors in Israel, awarded Dr. Andre Gasiorowski and Knesset Member Tali Ploskov a Medal of Honor from the Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors in Israel.
- Larisa Stadler, a representative of the Alliance of the World Nations, awarded Dr. Andre Gasiorowski, Dr. Rachel Shapira, Tali Ploskov, and Rita Tager with an Ambassador of Peace award.