DENVER — Rabbi Menachem Lehrfield with the Jewish Outreach Initiative in Denver has been spending his days packing up supplies to take to Israel.
"We also have these waterproof jackets that were on the other side,” Lehrfield said as he packed a bag.
Lehrfield said he's been wanting to help the people of Israel since the Israel-Hamas war began.
"I think every Jew on Earth has been deeply affected by this. And like many Jews throughout the world, we've been feeling very helpless like what can we do,” said Lehrfield.
Lehrfield has been packing things like headlamps, medical pouches, thermals, boots and more for Israeli soldiers.
"We've collected thousands of items and tens of thousands of dollars. That's just our initiative in Denver,” the rabbi said.
Oren Kimel, 8, is one of those donors. He raised $73 so he could help buy supplies for Lehrfield's trip.
To raise money, Kimel sold rocks he gathered rocks from his neighborhood and painted. Each rock was $5.
"A lot of people are very sad. And because they're getting kidnapped by Hamas,” said Kimel.
Lehrfield said dozens of people from across the country, including six to eight people from Denver, are traveling to Israel Sunday. Blake Cohen is one of the Denver volunteers making the journey.
"This is Israel’s greatest time of need, and the Jewish people's greatest time of need during my lifetime. And I didn't want to stand on the sidelines,” said Cohen.
Cohen understands the risks but said he wants to give back.
"My biggest concern is the possibility of the war escalating, Hezbollah getting involved or God forbid Iran,” said Cohen.
Lehrfield is grateful for all the help and support the organization and Jewish people have received during these dark times.
"Is it scary right now to go to Israel in the middle of a war? Absolutely. But it's also scary to be a Jew, and that doesn't stop us from what we have to do,” said Lehrfield.
The group will visit injured soldiers in hospitals, provide meals and host events for families. You can support their efforts by donating here.