As a retired administrative assistant, Joyce Hawtof doesn’t have a lot of money to invest.
But this week, she was considering paying into a fund with other pro-Israel activists to buy a $28,000 mobile home for a West Bank outpost.
“I think it’s the right thing to do to help our brothers and sisters,” said Hawtof Tuesday in a phone call from Shdema, one of the stops on a three-day tour of east Jerusalem and West Bank communities intended to draw American money.
In a junior congregation room at the Young Israel of Woodmere, on Long Island, they are greeted warmly at the door and don blue nametags. Some linger by the refreshments; others schmooze in the center of the room. The bold make their own introductions, while the more reserved wait for the formal program to begin.
It looks like a singles mixer, but the more than 100 people — men and women, young and middle-aged — are seeking matches of a different sort. They are job seekers, casualties of an economic downturn that has hit the Jewish communal world particularly hard.