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Volunteer group from Baltimore helps families flying in from Israel

Chaverim Baltimore 4.jpg
Posted at 5:40 PM, Oct 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-11 18:19:55-04

"These people were traumatized," says coordinator of Chaverim of Baltimore, Samey Perl.

A group of several Orthodox Jewish families flew into Dulles International Airport from Israel on Tuesday, having made a stop over in Turkey.

The families were mostly American citizens, trying to get home from a visit to Israel, after the war broke out.

"Basically, people were trying to get whichever flights that they're able, to get out of Israel to any destination," explains Perl, "and then find from there any flight that's coming to the United States."

Most of the families were trying to get to New York, and so had even more travel following their flight landing at Dulles.

"We got reports that they have not eaten anything, [for] possibly over 15 hours," says Perl.

These families keep kosher, a strict set of dietary laws that many Jews, particularly Orthodox Jews, around the world adhere to.

"I guess due to the rush, the extra travel time, they weren't able to have enough kosher food with them," says Perl, adding that some also weren't able to order kosher food on the plane, which depending on the airline can need to be ordered ahead of time.

"So we did our best," he says.

They teamed up with the Chaverim of Greater Washington, their partner organization based in Silver Spring, to meet the families after they landed at Dulles.

They brought pizza from Ben Yehuda's pizza, a kosher pizzeria in Silver Spring, as well as other snacks and drinks.

"They were very accommodating to us," says Perl of the airport staff, "They were very nice."

Perl also said they helped to coordinate rides and transportation for the families to reach their final destinations.