Frequently Asked Questions
www.BoxesForIsrael.org

Home

Next Container
Date & Times

Last Container UPDATE

Shipping Information

Shipper Contract

Seminary Special

 

 

 

 


 

CONTACT US:

US:
917-657-4200
Israel:
02-537-0384
718-841-6561

email:
info@MinchasShlomo.org

 

  • What may I send in the box?
      
    Used clothing. Only used clothing. Nothing but used clothing! No shoes (used or new) allowed. These are the Israeli government rules, not ours.
       If you think it's unfair, please fight with them - not us.

  • Are diapers, tuna fish cans, games, patterns, fabric, ketchup, books, tapes, toys, dishes, or furniture, considered used clothing?
      
    DUH?!!!

  • Are linen, blankets, or towels considered clothing?
       If your name is Julius Caesar and you wear a sheet as a toga - and you can convince meches (backed up with pictures of course) that that's your normal attire, be my guest to try it.

  • Are hats, shaitels, gloves, accessories OK?
      Believe it or not, hats are not 'clothing' in the Hebrew dictionary. So one hat per box we can get away with (unlike shoes!). Gloves - OK.  Suspenders & belts, the same. Shaitels, accessories - nope.

  • Where can I get egg boxes?
      
    At most grocery stores. If your favorite grocer doesn't carry it, try another. We do not supply them. (There is a 25% surcharge for "BERRY" boxes)

  • Can I drop off garbage bags, suitcases, or shopping bags of clothing?
      
    No, ONLY egg boxes!

  • What size box is an 'egg-box'?
    12”x13.5”x24”

  • How heavy can the box be?
      
    There is no weight limit.

  • Can I have the clothing packed inside the box, baged.
         Yes. But not really necessary. The container is sealed, if a box gets wet, it's in Davy Jones' locker - everything is wet - and lost.

  • Do you pick up?
       No.
       We recomend a frum company, we've seen them as reliable and fair on the pricing. They pick up from Monroe, Monsey, Williamsburg and Boro Park. But remember - That's between you & them.
         *** Shnell Messenger Service. Their contact info is 845-782-4048, or shnellmessenger@gmail.com.

  • How much in advance may I drop off the boxes?
       ONLY on the date, time, & place stated. The warehouse is donated to us by a ba'al chessed only at those times. Any other times interferes in his day-to-day business.

  • To whom may I send the clothing to?
       1. You can donate the clothing to our organization. We will make sure it gets to poor people. The charge for that is $14/box. (Please, no stained or ripped clothing, all zippers & buttons in working order).
       2. You can send to your relatives/friends living in Israel. The charge for that is: Single box: $27.  Multiple boxes: $20/box.
       3. Or you can send to an existing clothing gemach. The charge for that is $19/box (multiple).
       4. Gemachim sending large quantities are entitled to a discount.

  • How much do you charge per box?
      
    Please see above.

  • What kind of clothing is needed?
       Men's, women, and children. Winter & summer. Etc.

  • How should I mark the boxes?
       With a permanent marker, write the recipient's name and phone number on each box. No more than that. Do not attach a piece of paper with the information, as they tend to fall off in the handling of the boxes. If donating to us, please mark the box in at least 2 places 'GG' (for General Gemach).

  • Is there a minimum/maximum amount of boxes I may send?
         No

  • Do I have to let you know in advance how many boxes I would like to ship?
        If you're shipping more than 20 boxes, yes. You can do that by either email (info@minchasshlomo.org), or by calling (917-657-4200) and leaving a message - stating your name, phone number, & how many boxes you would like to send. We will file your request, & only reply if we cannot except your request.

  • Should I seal the boxes?
       Yes.We will slice open the tape to inspect the contents of each box to make sure that nothing treif is in them, then we will re-seal them before putting them in the container.
       PLEASE NOTE: Should we find anything illegal in any of your boxes (either in the US or in Israel), we will throw out ALL of your shipment.
       You are accepting that condition by shipping with us.
       If you're not fine with that - please, please send your items another way. We try our hardest to comply with all US & Israeli laws. Please read very carefully the shipping contract. If you get something treif past us, & we're caught - YOU will pay all additional fees incurred. That can reach up to $10,000.00! Think twice before you make the wrong move. IT'S NOT WORTH IT!!!

  • How long does it take for the container to get to Israel?

  • Normally, About a month (anywhere from 3-5 weeks).

  • Exact dates, times, and ETAs is meaningless as there are too many variables. i.e.: day of the week the boat docks in Chaifa. Likewise its arrival at Ashdod. When meches decides to check the container, & when it decides to release it. Etc. (Please see 'UPDATE' page)

  • REMEMBER: It is the responsibility of the RECEIVER to find out the pick-up date and time.

  • Where are the boxes to be picked up?
        In Yerushalayim. In a lot belonging to the City of Yerushalayim, on Rechov Shimon Hatzadik (same street as Yeshiva Ohr Someach). It's an empty lot - no address, but it's right after building #25, (before Arzai Habira) opposite a small kiddy park. Landmarks are:between Eretz Chafetz St and Rechov Neter.

  • Is there a delivery service?
       NO. There are vans that usually come by looking for business. We recomend a (frum) driver that gives a reliable service: His name is Uzi: 052-761-8189. Uzi lives in the Bnei Brak area making out-of-town deliveries a little cheaper. Remember - That's between you & them. Please don't get us involved if you have a hard time with the driver.

  • How will we know when the pick-up day & time is?
       When dropping off the boxes you will receive a date that the receiver should call our hotline in Israel (phone #: 054-686-8705). Please inform then about this date and what it means. A recording will instruct them when & where to pick up their boxes. We DO NOT call the receivers anymore, sorry.
    Please remenber: It is the responsibility of the RECEIVER to find out the pick-up date and time.

  • Do you have warehousing facilities in Israel?
       NO!

  • What happens should the receiver not pick up their boxes?
       As the container is unloaded in a public area, it is the receiver's responsibility to pick up their boxes in the allotted time. After that, it will be deemed hefker  and left for anyone who wants it to take it. Please make the receiver aware that you are sending them the boxes (before we do). If a simcha is coming up at the expected time, have an alternative receiver ready.

    All excuses: (My husband is a Rebbi in a Yeshiva, I have to take care of the kids. / I wasn't feeling well that evening. / I forgot that yesterday was Tuesday. / I listen to my voicemail only once a week. / I forgot. / My sister made a chasuna. / My daughter never gave me the mesage. / I live out of town. / I gave birth that night!) - all real - are great, but the boxes ended up hefker, and in someone else's possesion.


    Unfortunately, we've had some problems at the receiving end with the past few lifts. Some recur from time to time in a small way, some in a large way. Unfortunately, some were practically catastrophic. In order to improve our service and try to satisfy as many costumers as possible, I’m listing the four most common problems, and how we propose to solve them:

    Problem #1 – "I can't make it at that time." (I/my husband teaches at that time / we have a chasunah / I'll be out of town / I plan on being hospitalized as my shvigger is coming to visit.)

    Solution: I wish there were a solution. Whatever time the boxes arrive will be inconvenient for someone. We're dealing with over 130 clients per lift, and statistics say there is no time that works for everyone. If you can't make it, arrange for a friend/relative/driver to pick up your boxes. PLEASE, don't just leave the boxes at the parking lot. It's insulting to the person who worked so hard and paid money to send you the items. Also, it encourages poachers to attack as soon as I leave. (And if your shvigger is really coming to visit, you can pay a tour guide to take her up north for 90% of her stay.)

    Problem #2 – "I was sent five boxes, but only four are here."

    Solution: if you're sending items to two or more siblings/cousins/friends/whoever, please have them come to me and state their name and that they're taking only partial delivery. I'll mark it down. That way when the second party shows up, instead of much unnecessary agmas nefesh, calls to America, and a lot of time wasted by the receiver and our staff, one look at our list will explain it all.

    Problem #3 – "It's not here!!!"

    Solution: if you send two different siblings/cousins/friends/whoever to pick up the same boxes – of course the second party won't find them! Please communicate clearly! This issue happens almost every single lift. PLEASE, have rachmanus on everyone involved.

    Problem #4a – Chaim lives in Beit Shemesh and is missing one of his boxes. Instead, he has a box that belongs to Berel – who lives in Kiryat Sefer. HELP!!
    b – "Where's the driver with my boxes?"
    c - "The driver said he can't find my sixth box."
    d - "I came fifteen minutes late, and my boxes are gone! I told the driver not to take them, that I'm on the way."
    e – "The driver INFORMED me that he has my boxes, and it'll cost me x shekels to have them delivered. Who is this guy?"

    Solution: Drivers/cabbies/messengers will not be allowed to pick up any boxes without telephone confirmation to our staff from either the Sender or Receiver. After the driver packs up the boxes, one of our staff will have to confirm how many boxes he has, and that all the boxes in his possession have the same costumer number.

  • Apology: As each container constitutes on average over 160 Shippers, we CANNOT answer every call and email. (Three minutes with each caller equals... and NO, you're not the only one). This is a chessed operation, nobody is salaried, & time is limited!
                PLEASE, read all the instructions, rules, times, & dates.

    AFTER reading all the above, if you still have a question then we will be happy to take your call/email.
    Sorry, but questions that have already been addressed here will not be answered.

  • PLEASE NOTE:
    In at least five different places (twice on the website, twice on the contract, and once on the “end sticker” that every SHIPPER receives when dropping off boxes) it states clearly, in bold letters, that it is the RECEIVER’s responsibility to find out when and where the drop-off and distribution will take place (see above).
    To make things as easy as they can be, there’s a phone number for people to call to hear a recorded message stating when and where the pickup is. If the container was delayed, the message says to call back.
    In the past, my staff called all the RECEIVERS with this information – but as the number of SHIPPERS grew, this was no longer feasible. The container usually gets freed between 4:30 and 5:00 in the evening. Then we immediately arrange for a truck for the next morning. Those phone calls can take about an hour. After the truck has been arranged, we can start making phone calls to our RECEIVERS.
    Unfortunately, so many SHIPPERS write the phone numbers wrong, with the digits reversed, or with the numbers illegible. Sometimes the number they give us has been disconnected or is no longer in service. Many people don’t answer when we call once, twice, a third time… with half an hour’s time between each call!
    Sometimes a child answers the phone and simply babbles into the receiver while we beg them to call their parents… Sometimes an older child (or even an adult!) takes a message but doesn’t relay it. Sometimes a child picks up, and we wait on the line for 10 minutes for the mother to come to the phone.
    How late can we call? Usually, no later than 10 p.m. Sometimes we just don’t get through to everyone before that hour. Sometimes people explain to us why they just can’t be there tomorrow to pick up their boxes. “Why don’t you keep the container in the port for one more day?” they ask. “Then I’d be able to come pick up my boxes.”
    Unfortunately, storage at the port is $120 a day. Since the container is usually released on a Wednesday, waiting “just one more day” would actually mean waiting “just four more days,” until Sunday.
    It’s not possible for us to call all 150 RECEIVERS between 6 and 10 at night. If every RECEIVER would make just one phone call, they would all get the message about when and where they need to come to pick up their shipment.
    Then the big day comes – but many RECEIVERS don’t show up during the two-hour window when we’re there, waiting for them. Toward the end of this “window,” a driver checks the boxes that are still there. He’s looking to support his family, so he calls the people listed as RECEIVERS for these boxes. He wants to make a parnassah, so he offers to deliver the boxes for a reasonable fee.
    But most people don’t answer their phones. Not their home phone, not their mobile, and not their wife’s phone. About an hour later, one of them tries again, but we’re still not successful. I usually stay a half hour to 45 minutes after the time, then leave.
    The RECEIVERS who didn’t come to get their boxes on time … simply don’t get their boxes.
    The SHIPPERS who sent boxes that weren’t picked up? They blame us (of course).
    PLEASE, everyone – SHIPPERS and RECEIVERS – make sure the phone numbers you give us are accurate. Make sure the RECEIVERS call us to find out when they should come get their boxes. And then, come get them!
    Thank you to everyone for helping your boxes get to where you want them to go!

     

 

Seminary Special:

For first time students not yet in Israel, we will store your boxes until your arrival.
Must be picked up by:
          Yeshiva Bachurim: 3 Elul     Seminary  Girls:   Sept 2 (or 48 hours after arrival in Israel - whichever is later)
Pick-up/Delivery: Within 72 hours after KMS being contacted.

Price: $25 per box.    Delivery: additional (check with above drivers) $10/box - Single box: $20
More than 20 boxes to same address Yeshiva/Sem: $30/box (including delivery).