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 Leadership Briefing 
The Jewish Federations of North America - The Strength of a People. The Power of Community.
Federations Commit Up to $5 Million for Israel Relief 
November 15, 2012

As the security situation escalates in Israel, millions of Israeli lives have been profoundly disrupted. The people of Israel are struggling with the physical, emotional and psychological impact of living under siege on a daily basis as rocket fire streams into the south from terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) just announced a new Israel Terror Relief Fund, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel at this critical time. JFNA’s Executive Board today voted for Jewish Federations to commit up to $5 million to the Israel Terror Relief Fund for the immediate needs of the people of Israel, especially in the South, through both existing reserve funds and new contributions from Federations.

This new Fund will help support the more than one million residents of Israel’s South and provide aid to those who are victims and the most vulnerable Israelis during this time of conflict. One hundred percent of all donations will be used for aid.

Jewish Federations are leading this Israel Terror Relief Fund to help their partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Israel Trauma Coalition and World ORT, deliver immediate services and assistance on the ground throughout the South. Such services include trauma counseling, financial assistance, portable bomb shelters, and potentially other initiatives including bringing children in the strike zones out of harm’s way.

  • The Israel Terror Relief Fund will support The Jewish Agency in providing a range of programs and services, including respite for the 23,500 grade-school students who live in affected areas, as well as psychological interventions for parents and children from Israel’s southern region. The Jewish Agency’s Fund for the Victims of Terror will provide such necessities as medical equipment, treatment and other help that is not provided by the state; emergency cash grants; basic furnishings, repair and home equipment; and other services to help restore and rebuild lives.
  • The Israel Terror Relief Fund will enable JDC to distribute food and emergency kits to the elderly and disabled, implement emergency caseworkers to provide emotional and physical support and provide immediate and special care to the most severely disabled or frail elderly in their homes. JDC will also offer children post-trauma interventions and volunteer-led activities in shelters. 

More information on these and other programs and initiatives benefitted by the Israel Terror Relief Fund can be found on JFNA’s resource page. JFNA is partnering with the Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA on the Israel Terror Relief Fund. 

A group of Federation lay leaders and executives will travel to Israel in the coming days to assess the needs on the ground and see firsthand the work of our partner agencies. The mission will tour Israel’s southern region, and include meetings with Israeli leadership and visits to those affected by the recent rocket attacks.

Jewish Federations are working in close coordination with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) to help those in need through the Israel Terror Relief Fund. The URJ includes approximately 900 congregations in the U.S., Canada, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is the largest Jewish movement in North America and represents an estimated 1.5 million Jews.

Jewish Federations are also working in close coordination with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) on the Israel Terror Relief Fund. The USCJ is a community of nearly 630 North American kehillot – sacred communities – serving over 200,000 households in North America, and representing more than one million people.

The generosity of our donors and the strength of our agencies on the ground will enable Jewish Federations to respond quickly and effectively at this challenging time for the State of Israel. Together, we stand strong as a global Jewish community, and remain faithfully committed to our Israeli brothers and sisters during times of need.

JFNA will keep Jewish Federations continually updated on the situation as needed. Upon request, JFNA will also provide talking points and other media materials. Please contact Joe Berkofsky at 212-284-6714 for details.

The Jewish Federations of North America
Wall Street Station
PO Box 157
New York, NY 10268

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