“Being in the South now and experiencing what our family in Israel is experiencing, has given me some understanding of what it feels like to be a citizen of this region,” said Michael Siegal, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, leading a solidarity mission of North American senior federation lay and professional leaders in the South of Israel.
Nine people were injured yesterday after 100 rockets were fired on Israel from Gaza, three of which were aimed at Tel Aviv. Over 50 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system. This morning an empty school in Ashkelon was hit, the third time this school has been hit by rockets in 10 years. A fake bomb was found on the Jerusalem light rail system, thought to be a terror tactic.
An immediate ceasefire now seems unlikely as Egyptian-mediated negotiations have reportedly slowed down. Forty-five percent of Israel’s citizens are living with the real threat of rockets. That’s proportionally the same at 140 million Americans.
The IDF reportedly hit the house belonging to a Hamas terrorist and unintentionally killed 11 members of the same family.
Rocket fire is affecting industrial production. A Kafrit factory on Kibbutz Kfar Aza that manufactures raw material for the plastic industry is out of work due to a direct rocket hit. Damaged houses and public buildings testify to the rockets’ power.
“As the red alerts sounded,” said Michael Siegal, “we rushed for shelter together with small children. We could clearly see the urgent and incredible need for cash allocations and immediate assistance for children, elderly, victims of terror and all the people of Israel.”
This morning the group surveyed damage inflicted to a house hit by a rocket, visited the Jewish Agency’s Ibim absorption center and spoke with an Ethiopian family, who had arrived one month ago, about adjusting and some made a condolence call to the family of one of the three victims killed by a Gazan rocket attack on Thursday in Kiryat Malachi. Here is the group sheltering during a Code Red alarm.
Ofer Baram, Jewish Agency for Israel, director of emergency response in the southern region, spoke to the group, “I cannot tell you how it warms my heart to see you all here. You should know that most Members of Knesset have not been here and I’m not sure you will see them come. Yet you have come across the ocean.”
Israel Terror Relief Fund
The Israel Terror Relief Fund committee, with $5 million available to be allocated, aims to address the most critical needs as validated by RAHEL in collaboration with JFNA’s partners. The committee is prioritizing helping children who have been trapped in shelters since the beginning of the operation on last Wednesday, providing them with assistance while in the shelters and in addition with respite activities away from the epicenter of the violence. The fund aims to help children with disabilities and special needs, seniors and adults with disabilities who need immediate help with food and home care, and families who are victims of terror. JFNA wants to help all those suffering under the ongoing trauma of relentless rocket fire. Programs have been approved by co-chairs of the allocation committee, Andrea Yablon and Heschel Raskis.
Interested donors can also text ISRAEL to 51818 to donate to the fund.
The Executive of Lion of Judah Israel has donated 40,000 NIS to Amutat Natal to assist them in their work with immediate psychological intervention with women, children and families of Kiryat Malachi, Netivot and Ofakim and with assistance for first aid officials working in municipalities and on the 106 emergency phone lines.