Jewish Federations of North America's drive to provide emergency relief to Israel following Hamas's brutal October 7 attack has reached $711.5 million, $242 million of which has already been allocated to the most pressing needs on the ground through nearly 300 partner organizations and NGOs.
Organizations that have received funds include the Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, World ORT, Israel Trauma Coalition, United Hatzalah, Magen David Adom, ZAKA, Chabad, and over a dozen hospitals and medical organizations.
Below are some of the focus areas Jewish Federation funds have gone to in recent weeks:
Over 125,000 Israelis were evacuated by the Israeli government since the beginning of the war, many of whom have since lost the ability to provide for themselves. Tens of thousands more evacuated on their own and are internally displaced.
Jewish Federations have funded 9 organizations providing food packages, hot meals and grocery vouchers to affected Israelis. We are regularly in contact with these agencies to make sure that necessary resources reach those who most need them.
On Oct. 7, many members of Israel’s Bedouin community risked their lives to save Jews. They also suffered direct losses on that day; there are Bedouin hostages being held in Gaza, and at least 26 Bedouin have been killed by Hamas.
There are over 300,000 Bedouin living in Israel’s south, one-third of whom do not have access to bomb shelters or safe rooms. To date, $904,640 of Federation’s collective funds have been allocated to organizations providing services and assistance to Bedouin communities. A full list of these organizations can be found here.
People with Disabilities
For the thousands of Israelis evacuated from the country’s confrontation zones, it is a time of disruption, uncertainty, fear, and trauma. These challenges are magnified for people with disabilities who often need adaptive living arrangements and rely upon a daily routine and additional special services, and who often face greater hardship from displacement. Disabled Israelis who have not faced evacuation also have elevated needs during this crisis.
In this time of darkness, Jewish Federations are ensuring that thousands of disabled Israelis – Jews and non-Jews – are provided the support they need to live with the dignity they deserve, and, to this end, have funded these 15 organizations.
Pastoral Guidance and Rabbinic Services
The magnitude of the tragedy on Oct. 7 has required a rapid expansion of rabbinic services connected to death, mourning and spiritual guidance for the bereaved. Jewish Federations a have provided this support through a range of programs supported by the Israel Emergency Fund.
Organizations that have received funds to provide these services include Hesed Haim V'Emet, IMPJ - Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, Masorti Movement, the Shalom Hartman Institute, and Solomon Schechter. A full list of these organizations can be found here.
The fundraising campaign is only one part of how Jewish Federations are working to support Israel. We have also launched the largest community mobilization effort to support Israel in our history. As part of that mobilization, we organized the March for Israel, the largest pro-Israel rally in the nation’s history, alongside the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Our #BlueRibbonsForIsrael Campaign has distributed hundreds of thousands of ribbons in support of the 138 innocents still being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. We have initiated a series of solidarity missions to Israel that will continue as a clear show of support over the coming weeks and months.
Photo credit: Yakir Amos for Latet