The Soldiers Corner in Gush Etzion
In the year 2001, when Arab terror in Israel was at its peak, Arab murderers took the life of Dr. Shmuel Gillis, Hy’d, a prominent hematologist on the way as he neared his home of Carmei Tzur. His wife Ruti was left to raise their five children alone.Ten days later, another murder,a fatal shooting on the bridge between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion, taking the life of Tzachi Sasson, Hy”d from Kibbutz Rosh Tzurim. Another widow, Ossy and two more orphans. Both men were dedicated to the soldiers who helped protect our residents. The Pina Chama was founded by Ruti and Ossie eleven years ago in their husbands’ memories. The Pina Chama (a cozy corner), is a place where soldiers can stop for a bit of rest, for a drink, something to eat or just a kind word on the way to their bases. It is located at the Gush Etzion Junction. The station is maintained by the residents of Efrat and Gush Etzion who volunteer. It operates from 7 AM until 9 PM every day except Shabbat. On a busy morning shift, more than 100 soldiers are served. On a broiling hot day, they come in for a cold drink. When the rain is pouring, they come in for hot soup. On an average day 250 soldiers of every rank and every unit stop off at the station for a cup of hot coffee, a freshly baked chunk of chocolate cake, and a smile. The supplies are made possible through generous donations and the upkeep and the infrastructure is covered by the local councils of Gush Etzion and Efrat. We think of them as our own sons who and give them a break and goodies and then they’re back in their jeeps off to the lines of defense. Most are not from our area, and for the first time they have the opportunity to interact with the residents of the area. (”I do my reserve service in the middle of the cold winter of Gush Etzion. What a wonderful surprise to get a warm cup of soup while I wait for my pick up ride to Hebron.” (Lior 24, is a
sergeant from Haifa) Over the years the Coffee Pit-Stop has been developed and enhanced: the original mobile structure was covered in wood, storerooms were added and a pleasant outdoor sitting area was created. The site continues to grow and develop: we are currently working to extend the outdoor area, and to add a communal kitchen so that cakes, cookies and other treats can be prepared on site. A reading corner is under construction, in memory of Yuval Heiman, a soldier who fell during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of
2014. Over the course of the year there are joint activities for Gush Etzion residents together with soldiers serving in the area, including a lighting ceremony on Hannukah, a barbecue on Yom HaAtzma’ut (Israel’s Independence Day), an evening of song on Yom Yerushalayim (marking the liberation of Jerusalem and of Gush Etzion during the Six
Day War), and more. Cozy Corner for Soldiers is a communal expression of love and gratitude towards IDF soldiers, and a communal form of hospitality. All the activity at the site is carried out by volunteers, and funded by private donations. In the course of a week, 26 lbs. of sugar, 30 bags of milk, 10 cans of instant coffee, and Turkish coffee, as well as 3,000 hot cups, 3,000 cold cups and in the winter six giant tubs of soup. There is an annual Independence day BBQ for 800 soldiers. ”From the depths of the loss of two special souls – Dr. Shmuel Gillis and Tzachi Sasson, Hy’d – the residents of Gush Etzion have nurtured a project that has done more good than we can even imagine – the Pina Chama for our soldiers. May their memories be blessed! ”From the depths of the loss of two special souls – Dr. Shmuel Gillis and Tzachi Sasson, Hy’d – the residents of Gush Etzion have nurtured a project that has done more good than we can even imagine – the Pina Chama for our soldiers. May their memories be blessed! Become a sponsor and supply a monthly or annual amount from the list below. You can also help to sponsor the annual Israel Independence Day BQQ which prepares 800 portions.
All donations are tax deductible.
|Cost (in USD)
|Daily requirements for one year
|Disposable cups and tableware
|Hot drinks (coffee, tea, sugar, milk)
|Cold drinks - slurpees
|Independence Day Barbecue
|sponsor "Falafel Day"
|Development of outdoor sitting area
|Equipment for communal kitchen