Though an uneasy ceasefire is in place, millions of Israeli lives have been profoundly disrupted. The people of Israel still struggle to recover from the physical, emotional and psychological impact of having lived under siege from rocket fire streaming into the south from terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
The Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel Terror Relief Fund is a vital way to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel at this critical time. Jewish Federations have committed 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 fund is continuing to support the more than one million residents of Israel’s South as they recover and rebuild. One hundred percent of each donation is being used for aid. You can also text ISRAEL to 51818 to support the fund. (Read a heartwarming thank you note from a Negev community helped by Federation funds during the attacks.)
Our overseas partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, World ORT and the Israel Trauma Coalition, are delivering services and assistance on the ground throughout the south. Such services include trauma counseling, financial assistance, portable bomb shelters, and bringing children to safe areas.
The Jewish Agency has provided 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 provided 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 JDC has distributed 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 also offered children post-trauma interventions and volunteer-led activities in shelters.
World ORT worked with their affiliated high schools in the affected area to support their e-learning activities. World ORT’s Kadima Mada-Kav-Or program serves schools in Israel's public hospitals, including Barzilai in Ashkelon and Soroka in Be’er Sheva. When World ORT’s new Centre of Excellence in Kiryat Gat was closed due to the security situation, extra-curricular activities were maintained.
JFNA is partnering with the Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA on the Israel Terror Relief Fund.
During and after the attacks, group of Federation lay leaders and executives traveled across Israel, assessing the needs on the ground and seeing firsthand the vital work of our partner agencies. The mission toured Israel’s southern region, and included meetings with Israeli leadership and visits to those directly affected.
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 is enabling 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.
Upon request, JFNA will also provide talking points and other media materials. Please contact Joe Berkofsky at 212-284-6714 for details.
Credits: Images one and two above are from Flash 90 for JFNA. Image three is from the IDF.