UWI’s seventh annual Chanukah party with Israeli soldiers, located at an anti-terror training base between Ramallah and Jericho, was the best ever, leaving participants with an even greater appreciation for the heroic defenders of Israel.

UWI 2017 Chanukah party IDF

Anti-terror base commander lights menorah. (UWI)

Nearly 150 United with Israel (UWI) supporters attended this year’s Chanukah celebration with Israeli soldiers inside their base.

While always inspiring, this year’s event was truly special, as it was located at an anti-terror training base where participants witnessed first-hand some of the latest techniques used by the heroic young men and women who protect the Jewish state day and night.

Each year, UWI provides Israeli soldiers with ‘warm winter’ care packages as a token of appreciation for everything they do throughout the year, thanks to the generous support of UWI members from around the world.

UWI IDF Chanukah Party

At this year’s event, which took place at a unique state-of-the-art anti-terror training base located in the middle of the Judean desert, northeast of Jerusalem, between Ramallah and Jericho, hundreds of soldiers enjoyed a festive Chanukah dinner complete with music and dancing, a candle lighting ceremony and short program.

For many soldiers, this year’s highlight may very well have been receiving beautifully wrapped gift packages of Chanukah menorahs, candles, chocolates, assorted treats, personal notes of support and encouragement from friends around the world and ‘warm winter’ fleece jackets.

Thousands of winter care packages, including fleece jackets, will be distributed to soldiers at bases across the country.

Exercises Simulate Response to Terror Attacks

Since the onset of the current wave of Palestinian terror, Israeli citizens have suffered brutal stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. The truth is that many more attacks have been prevented, due to the incredible, life-saving work of brave Israeli soldiers and police.

UWI 2017 Chanukah party IDF

Demonstration of anti-terror practice session. (UWI)

Upon arrival at the base, the UWI group was treated to several eye-opening simulations of security force operations in response to terror attacks. The simulations took place in replicas of some of the most volatile locations in the country.

Dramatic scenes, complete with simulated stabbings, gunfire, tactical rescue operations, attack dogs and more, played out in front of the crowd. This provided an entirely new perspective on the latest anti-terror response and rescue operations as well as the danger these activities constitute even for highly trained security personnel.

IDF anti-terror training

After the presentation, the base commander led the traditional menorah-lighting ceremony, after which the soldiers on base and the visitors enjoyed a delicious barbecue, sufganiyot (Chanukah donuts), singing and dancing.

Michael Gerbitz, UWI founder and director, read several among the hundreds of letters of love and support from UWI members representing 168 countries, including even the United Arab Emirates.

“Your American friends appreciate and care about Israel and her soldiers who have to face battle daily. We continue to keep you and your country and countrymen in our prayers,” wrote an American supporter.

UWI 2017 IDF Chanukah Party

Another said, “This comes with heartfelt thanks for your service. We are in awe of what you give of yourself to protect Israel. Without you, Israel could not survive. We are filled with so much appreciation and pray for your safety every day. Thank you, thank you!!!”

A supporter from the UK wrote, “Thank you for what you do. Without you the whole world would be a more dangerous place. I pray that you are kept strong and safe.”

If you would like to send ‘Warm Winter’ care packages to Israeli soldiers, including fleece jackets like the ones given to the soldiers at the party, click here. It’s never too late!