NAPLES, Fla. — As the conflict in Israel continues, communities across the United States are responding, including in southwest Florida. The rabbi at Chabad of Naples is leading an urgent mission trip to Israel.
"When someone hurts one of us, they hurt all of us," said Rabbi Fishel Zaklos.
He's the executive director of Chabad Jewish Center of Naples, setting off to Israel on Sunday with fellow rabbis from around the U.S. to help people affected by the war.
"I'll be visiting Sderot with my colleague, Rabbi Pizem, who turned this synagogue, which is actually a bomb shelter, and he turned it into a massive supermarket warehouse," he explained.
With donations from the community, Zaklos will be handing out duffel bags of supplies including flashlights, watches, food, clothes and iPads so families are able to keep in touch.
"We will hand deliver them to the people on the frontlines and make sure that it's in the right hands," Zaklos said.
He says the support goes well beyond the tangible goods.
"As a rabbi for the last 20 years, there's nothing that I've found that is greater than just showing up for people," Zaklos said.
With families living out of bomb shelters for weeks, Zaklos says that if they're enduring it, then he's willing to provide his support for at least a few days.
"Bringing out love and support to our brothers and sister in the Holy Land as a reminder that they're not alone," he said. "We're bleeding with them, praying for them and are in this together with them."
Zaklos wants to emphasize the importance of being kind to one another, lifting each other up as communities wait in hope for the war to come to an end.