Mother of kidnapped teen launches program to connect Israel to Diaspora

The Shaer Family and the SonShine Foundation are launching a program called “Happy Birthday 2 You,” attempting to unite Jews around the world, in memory of Gilad Shaer who was kidnapped and murdered by the Gaza-based terror group Hamas in 2014.The initiative will connect people from Israel and the Diaspora through shared Hebrew birthdays amid the coronavirus. The program will give those with a shared birthdate the opportunity to connect and wish each other a happy birthday. “The COVID crisis of the past year intensified the distance between us, and highlighted the importance of the sense of togetherness that Jews should feel throughout the world,” said Gilad’s mother, founder and chairwoman of SonShine, Bat-Galim Shaer. “The closeness, connection, and care that my family experienced, which characterizes times of trouble and pain, must be ‘replicated’ and applied not only to happy days but incorporated into our daily routine.”The program will be conducted by professionals who will monitor and assure the privacy and security of program participants, and will be hosted on a multi-lingual website.”Our goal is to reach as many Jews in Israel and the Diaspora, and we won’t be able to do it without your help,” the SonShine initiative said in a statement. “As we find ourselves distancing, help us make the Jewish world just a bit smaller!”


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