Lynchburg Karate raises money in support of Israeli relief funds

Published: Oct. 15, 2023 at 4:25 PM EDT
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FOREST, Va. (WDBJ) - A local martial arts center is raising money to support Israeli relief funds.

October 7, Bruce Rubingberg of Lynchburg Karate woke up to unthinkable messages from his family in Israel.

“I woke up to a flood of messages on my phone, a flood. And it took me a while to understand what was actually happening. I had these messages from my friends from so much family,” said Rubinberg.

He immediately went into action mode.

“I said, I got, we got to do something, we got to do something,” explained Rubinberg. “Here we are in Virginia. I can’t get to Israel, we got to do something.”

That something was making t-shirts stating, “I stand with Israel”.

“Every penny goes to Swords of Iron in Israel,” added Rubinberg.

For Rubinberg, this fundraiser is more personal than anything.

“It was a man’s hand and a baby’s hand holding and it was father and daughter, and neither one left,” mentioned Rubinberg. “And they were just holding each other’s hands and... I just broke down thinking about... my daughter, I have a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old.”

Rubinberg mentioned he received countless amounts of support from the community. He says Israel will never be the same again.

Rubinberg explains the emotions he has been feeling since tragedy struck.

“Anger, sadness hurt,” confessed Rubinberg. “I just put a post up yesterday. I started crying, thinking about the babies that were murdered, the families, and I think of my little girls, and I think if we were there in Israel, there’s a lot of emotion that goes with this.”

His family has already raised $2,000 for the Emergency Funds.

“I think if you have any kind of emotion of anger or sadness, or hurt, or a feel of need to help, that would be a good reason to donate” said Rubinberg