Jul 25, 2014

Update on Operation Protective Edge Allocations

Dear Colleagues,

It is day 18. More than 2,100 rockets have been fired at Israel. Hopes of a ceasefire continue to be dashed. We pray that discussions today may lead to one that will make this Shabbat a peaceful one. But whether the hostilities continue or abate, the people of Israel will continue to need us.

I just returned from two days in Israel with Federation leaders from across North America. We experienced just a small slice of what Israelis deal with every day and saw firsthand the critical work Jewish Federations are doing to address the immediate crisis. But the long-term implications of this war are going to be more significant than anyone could imagine.

That’s why our work is so important. We are already assessing continuing needs, but I wanted to update you on money already allocated and its impact on Israelis living through these hostilities.

Last Sunday, the JFNA Emergency Response Allocations Committee for Operation Protective Edge met for the second time, and allocated an additional $3.5 million in support for of critical services over and above the nearly $5 million it had authorized a week earlier. This brings the total Federation emergency assistance to our partner agencies to defray the costs of intensified IMMEDIATE burdens on trauma, senior, special needs and other programs to $8.5 million.

Below are talking points that you can use to make the case for the emergency campaign in your community.

In addition, you can visit the Stop the Sirens resource page resource page for human interest stories from Israel, news updates on the situation on the ground and reports of federation activity.

Shabbat Shalom,

Michael Siegal
Chair, Board of Trustees


Why Federation? Why Now?

• Because the Government of Israel has asked Jewish Federations to intensify their efforts in providing humanitarian support to the people of Israel.
• Because Iranian-backed Hamas’ upgraded military capabilities mean that today, three-quarters of Israelis live within range of rocket fire.
• Because the IDF is engaged in an operation to eradicate Hamas’ military capabilities. More than 2,969 terrorist targets and 30 massive concrete tunnels used to smuggle weaponry and infiltrate Israel have been destroyed.
• Because in just over two weeks, Israelis have endured nearly 2,000 rocket attacks, fired at all hours of the day and night.
• Because in the precious few seconds between a siren blast and a rocket hit, lives can be destroyed, or changed forever.
• Because the elderly, the disabled, the disadvantaged and new immigrants have specific and urgent needs for comfort and care.
• Because if the past is any guide, the majority of charitable contributions that will help the Israeli people during times of crisis will come from Jewish Federations.
• Because Federations can uniquely access a wide network of support, reaching the most Jews in the most communities in the U.S. and Canada.
• Because we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel.

How Will the Resources Be Used?

Below is a summary of the monies distributed to date, as well as a snapshot of the types and reach of the programs they support.

Immediate Relief from the Line of Fire for More than 45,000 Children

• Federation dollars allocated in this emergency campaign already helped 20,000 children last week. But the needs persist and are growing every day.
• For the price of dinner for two—$53—we can provide a critical day of relief for children living closest to the line of fire. A day away from the front lines—in summer camps, youth villages and enrichment classes—is more than a day in the country. It is a respite from the confines of the indoor playgrounds that, for more than 13 years, have become their “normal” play spaces.
• Other programs provide enrichment classes for teens and activity kits to distract children confined to shelters as sirens blare outside.

Total Allocated, Second Round: $1,395,098 Total Allocation: $3,596,002

Partners: The Jewish Agency for Israel, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, World ORT, Ethiopian National Project, Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism and Masorti Movement

Additional Help for 20,000 of Israel’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

• In normal times, Federation-supported senior centers provide thousands of seniors living in poverty—many of them Holocaust survivors—with food and comfort. Today, it’s too dangerous for them to travel, and many are living within the walls of their apartment bunkers.
• Our partners are deploying more caseworkers to bring food, medicine and comfort to the elderly—and other vulnerable groups like the disabled—in their homes. Crews are also installing equipment, like air conditioners, to make them more comfortable, and Internet connections to give them access to the outside world.

Total Allocated, Second Round: $697,900 Total Allocation: $1,934,400

Partners: The Jewish Agency for Israel, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Expanded Trauma Support for 15,000 Israelis

• When sirens blare, tens of thousands of Israelis take cover. But when the all-clear sounds, many continue to suffer from trauma that may not be as visible as a physical injury, but is just as real. Partner programs are providing psychological assistance to help 15,000 civilians and first responders weather the current storm.
• Program costs range from $1,200 to $3,600 a patient. But that just covers immediate support—counseling right now. Needs are likely to grow.
• In addition, demands on help hotlines are up dramatically. These funds also enable a significant expansion of those services.

Total Allocated, Second Round: $1,057,000 Total Allocation: $2,114,000

Partners: Israel Trauma Coalition, The Jewish Agency for Israel, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Masorti Movement

Flexible Assistance for 13 Communities Hit Hardest by the Conflict

• Communities are at the forefront of managing local services and responses to attacks. Federation support for NGOs working in these locales enhances the resilience of individual communities.

Total Allocated, Second Round: $350,000 Total Allocation: $850,000

Partners: JFNA, along with Federation representatives in Israel, will coordinate this program.