L’iluy Neshama David Schwartz

Several weeks ago, I was asked to help provide thermal gear for soldiers in the north. The very best price – of course – was at Costco, where they are literally 1/10th of the price in Israel.

Thru Kosher on a Budget, we found some amazing volunteer shoppers, who brought bags and bags of thermals (paid for by donations from KOAB readers) to another reader — an absolutely wonderful woman named Dana. She was traveling to Israel and she was able to bring all the thermals that the volunteer shoppers had brought to her house.

I met Dana at the airport and she walked me to the parking lot so we could transfer the thermals from her duffel into my car. As we walked and talked, I felt like I was spending time with an old friend — even though we had just met.

She told me she was only in Israel for a few days and she was especially looking forward to seeing her niece Meital and Meital’s husband, David — who had been in reserves since the 7th of October and had finally gotten a short break from Gaza. She giddily told me that she was going straight from the airport to see him. I was so excited for her!

Later that night, I texted her to thank her again for bringing in the thermals for the soldiers, and I asked if she’d gotten to hug her nephew yet! YES, she told me! My heart was so happy for them.

Two weeks later, I got a devastating WhatsApp from Dana: David had been killed in Gaza.

She was texting me from a flight, on her way to the shiva. Her dear niece Meital – a young woman in her 20s – had become a widow.

I cried for Dana, for David, for Meital. For David’s parents and siblings and all their extended family and friends. And I cried for Am Yisrael, who lost such an incredible person, filled with intelligence, chen (grace), bravery and loyalty.

Dana and I stayed in touch and I asked her during the shiva if she thought that we (the KOAB community) could do something to honor David’s memory. Together we decided that in his honor, we would host a very special seudah (meal of thanksgiving) for a 500-person brigade of soldiers coming out of Gaza.

I’ve been working together with Grilling For the IDF on planning the seudah, as they have an incredible operation on the ground here. They handle all the logistics – from buying and prepping the meat, salads and desserts to setting up the grills and tables, cooking, serving, cleaning up, and even providing entertainment.

Dana and her husband (Meital’s uncle) will be in Israel later next month and we will host the BBQ then, so that as much of their family as possible can be here.

I’ve been asked to budget $30 per person, and we are aiming to host the full brigade, so our goal is a total of $15,000. Anything above and beyond the needed funds for the BBQ will be donated in David’s memory to a charity of his family’s choice.

If you would like to donate L’iluy Neshama David Schwartz, the same channels as before are open:

Tax-deductible donations may be made via following the instructions in this video. Alternatively, you can make donations via:

  • Paypal ~ kosheronabudget@gmail.com
  • Venmo ~ @mara-strom
  • Bit or Paybox if you’re in Israel ~ Email me and I’ll give you my phone number

Below is a flyer that Dana and made together, sharing a little bit more about this amazing man.

If you would like join the whatsapp group started by Meital’s father to shared David’s Weekly Parsha Insights, this is the link. It was so special to learn from David’s amazing devar Torah last Shabbat and I definitely plan to make it a regular thing. I hope you find it meaningful too ❤️🇮🇱

Thank you so, so much for honoring David and for wrapping his family in the warm embrace of our chesed. Tizku l’mitzvot.

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