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07.01.2024 | כו טבת התשפד

Racheli Vassal

CEO of the 'One Israel' Fund, and an MA graduate of Bar-Ilan University, Racheli provides intense support for the war efforts


Racheli Vassal, a Bar-Ilan University MA graduate in International Relations and Strategy, serves as the CEO of the 'One Israel' Fund, supporting and assisting the settlement of 150 communities in Judea and Samaria. The fund is located in the USA, where its board members and headquarters are situated.

On October 7th, Rachel’s husband was on his way to the synagogue. 'A few moments after he left for prayers, he returned home and said that the security officer in our settlement had announced that anyone who had a weapon should have it ready. We heard sirens from every direction, the entire house shook. When I realized the magnitude of the event, I started acting immediately, on the following day,' she recounts.

The activity of 'One Israel' Fund in the USA focuses on raising resources to provide immediate support to settlements in Israel. 'We have teams in the field and collaborations with procurement entities. We were the first to order helmets, vests, first aid kits, and a variety of tactical equipment for our security squad. Additionally, we supported all the Judea and Samaria settlements that hosted evacuees and took care of all their needs. Later on, we provided assistance to the wives and children of reservists, and sponsored events organized by the municipality. In total, our support exceeded 10 million NIS, and we will continue to provide assistance.'

The intensity of the events, describes Rachel, was unprecedented. 'Since October 7th, my sleep and that of the entire team became a privilege for a few weeks. One night, at 2:30 in the morning, I received a call from one of the council heads in Judea and Samaria, saying they were in the middle of a security meeting and needed assistance with several security parameters. I asked why they were awake at such an hour. He replied that they sleep in sleeping bags in the council and work around the clock to ensure the security of the settlement residents. This phone call sharpened my understanding that all of us are now reservists, all of us are on high alert, all of us fighting for our home. There are no hours, no time, no difference between day and night,' Vassal recounts.

Racheli says that the Zionist spirit that 'flows in her blood' and the activity are what help her function and overcome difficulties in times of crisis. ‘I grew up in Jerusalem, in a Zionist home. My Land of Israel is in songs, in prayers, with IDF soldiers, and especially with the Golani Brigade (my father is a captain). They are a powerful symbol and value for me in life. I, too, served in a significant role in the Navy. As a mother, I alternate between the need to break down and cry, feel the pain for our brothers' blood and our land, and show strength, the strength of the country, the army, and us as a people whom nothing will break. My role propels me to action, in close contact with the security forces on the frontlines, with painful evacuations, and with our image and the PR efforts abroad. I strive to maintain strength and utilize my abilities to the fullest, because I am still a reservist.'

Racheli completed her studies at Bar-Ilan University in 2022, and maintains a connection with the university: 'My connection with the university today is through the alumni newsletter sent to us, allowing us to stay updated even after completing my degree in various aspects. There are important articles sent and sometimes invitations to Zoom meetings with alumni or lecturers, as well as involvement with alumni who have taken key positions.'