Organization started with toilet paper

Rachel Miller founded Shaving Israel over two years ago after she went on a trip to Israel with the St. Louis Jewish Federation. Her friend Carol Hellman, who was volunteering on an IDF army base as part of Sar El, told her each soldier had a very limited allocation of toilet paper. Miller remembered having to use newspapers as toilet paper during World War II. She and her friends were very disturbed by the scarcity of this basic necessity and decided they “wanted to send toilet paper to Israel.”

When she returned home to St. Louis she invited different friends to be part of the board of the new organization. Joel Levy is the executive vice president of the group which includes board members: Devy Goldenberg, Marvin Goldman, Sylvia Holtzman, Myron Jaffe and Marci Rosenberg. They applied to the state of Missouri to be a non-profit organization and began fundraising.

“Rachel is a power to be reckoned with,” Levy said. “She has passion and vigor.”

Every single dollar raised goes directly to the soldiers said Miller. There are no overhead costs. The money pays for toiletries for the soldiers, vouchers for transportation home for Shabbat and other personal needs.

“General Matt and Lt. Col. Sabine Segal know which soldiers are in dire need and have quietly assisted to protect the dignity of each soldier,” Miller said.

The group sent $4,300 to Israel for their first donation. A recent fundraiser held in October at the east branch of Southwest Bank in Creve Coeur raised $8,300. Bank manager Linda Geist has been very supportive of the organization. Miller called her their guardian angel.

“Without the soldiers, there would be no Israel,” Miller said. “They are the ones who are fighting. It’s not the money keeping Israel safe, it’s their bodies. So we have to keep them strong, so they can do their job to keep Israel safe.”

For more information on Shaving Israel look for their new website in January 2007: www.shavingisrael.org. Tax deductible donations can be sent to:

Shaving Israel

207 Ambridge, #306

Chesterfield, MO 63017

Sign up for Your Morning Light