El Al Boeing 777 CC Aero Icarus

When an El Al flight from Israel to California developed a problem, it was forced to land in Montana–where a problem of a different sort developed on the ground. Fortunately for the 279 passengers and crew, people who live in the “Big Sky Country” have hearts as big as their sky.

Because a new plane needed to be delivered, no one knew how long the hundreds of Israelis would be stranded there – sequestered in the terminal because there were no customs officials there. One thing was evident. Despite its worldly name, there was no kosher food at the Billings Logan International Airport.

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Donna Healy, a member of Billings’ Jewish community rounded up her daughter Kat and friend Victor Sargent, then purchased crackers, cereal, hummus and other snacks to deliver to the airport.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Chaim Bruk heard the news while traveling to Minnesota. He called his wife, Chavie Bruk in Bozeman, Montana and asked her to help. She immediately loaded her car with kosher food and drove 150 miles to Billings with her three kids (pictured in the tweet below).


A banquet of bagels, stacks of cold cuts, tubs of hummus, whole boxes of fruit, and other snacks filled the Billings airport terminal.

“It was a tremendous kiddush Hashem—amazing and inspiring!” Hillel Fuld, one of the passengers told Chabad News.

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The travelers from Tel Aviv wound up with more food than they could finish before a replacement plane arrived to take them the rest of the way to California.

“There was more than enough. Tons,” Michael Eisenberg, one of the stranded passengers told the Billings Gazette. “People in Billings can eat bagels for a month.”

Photo credit: Aero Icarus, CC

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