With Israel besieged by Hamas terrorists on land, sea and air since Saturday morning, many citizens of the hard-hit South are getting offers of shelter with total strangers in safer parts of the country.
And Israelis stranded abroad are also being welcomed to homes across the world through organizations such as Host A Sister.
This global online community of 522,000 members connects women during their travels. Some members even share their homes for free as part of a cultural exchange.
It didn’t take long after news of the war against Israel to break – along with the news that many American and European carriers have suspended flights to and from Israel — before Host A Sister members began posting messages.
Monika in North Macedonia and Laura in Berlin offered a sofa for stranded Israelis to crash on. Amanda in Austin, Texas, offered a futon and air mattresses.
Sabrina in Washington, DC, posted, “If you are stranded and not able to fly back to Israel due to flight cancelation please reach out. I will be happy to host you.”
Michela in Rome wrote: “Any Israeli sister or brothers blocked and not able to get back to Israel, or need company, please reach out. [The] Italian Jewish community will help.”
Josefina in Mexico, Jenni in Atlanta, Alexa in Bulgaria, Kittina in Budapest, Mayson in Montreal and many others also stand ready to help stranded sisters (and sometimes brothers) in their cities. Northern Israeli residents in the group are also offering their homes to sisters living in the south.
Host A Sister is not the only group reaching out to help stranded Israelis.
UnXeptable and Defend Israeli Democracy, new American groups that sprung up in support of anti-judicial reform protestors in Israel, are now focusing their efforts on “opening our homes and hearts to Israelis that are stuck abroad and can’t fly home.”
On this terrible day, when horrifying images and news of a massive violent attack on Israel are shared worldwide, UnXeptable global movement stands in solidarity with our families and friends in Israel. We bow our heads in horror and sorrow today’s events, and of what’s to come.… pic.twitter.com/DTvpbPmMM3— UnXeptable – Saving the Israeli Democracy (@UnxeptableD) October 7, 2023
Noy Leyb, a Canadian Israeli, started a WhatsApp group for IDF reservists around the world seeking a way to get home. Leyb pulled some strings to get on a booked El Al flight overnight, paying a reported $2,500 for his seat. He’s seeking sponsors for Israelis who want to return and serve but who cannot afford such high ticket prices.
In the Instagram message below, Leyb shares that about 500 people joined his WhatsApp group in a single day.