The Story of the David Fund
Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. “And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.”
1 Samuel 17:17-18
The David Fund is a special fund created by Hatikva Ministries to support the soldiers of the IDF. The story of the fund began in the early nineties on one of our trips to Israel. We wanted to join with the people on our tour to leave a gift to a worthy group as a thank you for sharing the land. Our guides told us about this company of soldiers in a Tank Brigade on the Golan Heights who needed several items for its soldiers. There are three companies in a Battalion, and three Battalions in a Brigade. We went to visit these soldiers who were fresh back from fighting in Lebanon. The soldiers, young men and women, eighteen and nineteen years old impressed us immediately and extended open hospitality to us. We were shock at the conditions on the base, which had originally been built as a base for the Syrians and now serves as headquarters for this Brigade. We visited the quarters of the soldiers, where we found plywood structures, with no windows, beds made of plywood with a piece of foam on top. There was no air conditioning on the base. No heaters, or even fans in their huge dining room. The soldiers were so different from what we were used to in the US. Their uniforms were patched in places and they called their officers by their first names.
They took us to visit their club. The club is a special place on the base were the soldier goes to get away from everything and just relax. When we walked into this room I wanted to cry. There was no Television, VCR, Radio, Cassete Player (it was the nineties), no refrigerator, no pool or ping pong table. In fact, there was a single worn out couch probably picked up from a roadside trash pile and some empty ammunition crates to sit on. There were no windows and only one light bulb, no AC, heater or fan. This was the club.
We learned that the Israeli Army, one of the best in the world, spends all the money they have to give their soldiers the best training they can give, and to equip them with the best and most modern weapons available in the world. There is no money for clubs, dining rooms, nice beds or any of those items we associate with the soldier on his base.
Before we left Israel we took up a collection on the bus and purchased a big Television for the time, a stand for the television, a VCR, paid for the rental of 200 movies and purchased a big boom box. Our one condition on these gifts was that there were no strings attached.
When we returned home we were contacted by the Battalion with a request to help them out. At that time we decided to establish an ongoing fund to meet the needs of these soldiers. My wife Debbie, suggested we call it the David Fund from the passage above where David was sent by his father to carry food and gifts to his brothers in the field and their officers.
Since that time we have grown to supporting not only the entire Brigade but many other units as well. Hashem has been gracious and always made a way for us to provide whatever the requests have been from the soldiers. This has gone way past what we would have ever thought possible. We have built clubs, even mobile ones that can be taken to the bases of the soldiers in the field, right in the battle zone. We have air conditioned dining halls, built basketball courts and many other projects.
The primary unit the David Fund supports is the Barak Brigade, a Merkevah Tank Brigade headquarted on the Golan Heights. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War this Brigade stood against overwhelming odds as the Syrians with more than 800 tanks advanced against the Brigade with less than 50 tanks. They bought with their lives the time that was needed for the reserves to reach the front. In the first two days of the war, the Barak Brigade was wiped out. The Brigade was put back together and has fought valiantly in every conflict since then.
The David Fund is tax exempt. You can support with your check or through our Pay Pal link. Checks can be made out to either Hatikva Ministries, with David Fund on the Memo Line, or directly to the David Fund. All funds go to the soldiers. There is no over-head (except for CC processing fees). We thank you for your support.