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The Pina Chama, a refreshment station for soldiers and police serving in the area, is located at "צומת הגוש" - the Gush Etzion junction on route sixty leading to Chevron.

It was set up in 2001 in memory of two locals who were murdered by terrorists on the road - Dr Shmuel Gillis of Karmei Tsur and Tzachi Sasson of Rosh Tsurim.

It is open daily from 7am till 9pm, serving soldiers who come in for a drink and a piece of cake or cookie, and a chat.

There are usually more than 200 soldiers coming in over the course of a day. Most of them say that doing miluim or duty here in the Gush is worthwhile because of the Pina Chama.

The place is manned by volunteers - mostly women and some men, who come straight from shul in the mornings, to open up for the soldiers. Most have a set weekly or bi-weekly shift.

Most of the cakes are baked by groups of women from all over Gush Etzion and even from Beit Shemesh. The place is kept going by a wonderful committee and donations from all over the world.

The Sasson and Gillis families are actively involved in the day to day running.

A major event in the year is the Yom Haatzmaut barbeque - which feeds over 600 soldiers. From the morning to the evening the mangals cook food, and volunteers serve it and package it to send to the local bases.

For more information or to participate in helping fund these activities, please contact Ira at limjts@netvision.net.il

--hila 16:30, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

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