Make a difference – How you can help
For American Jews interested in helping Israel’s soldiers and citizens, the opportunities are many. Here are just some of the many organizations through which you can make a difference.
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) – JFNA has launched a new Israel Terror Relief Fund, to help support the more than one million residents of Israel’s south, who have been living in siege, under rocket fire from terrorists in the Gaza Strip. JFNA’s partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and World ORT, along with the Israel Trauma Coalition, are delivering 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. To donate log onto www.jfna.org.
Yashar LaChayal – Yashar LaChayal, the Israel-based non-profit that assists and supports the IDF’s combat soldiers, supplies soldiers with winter wear through its annual Warm Winter Campaign. The mobilization of thousands of soldiers and the call-up of reservists for Operation Pillar of Defense has resulted in an immediate need for additional assistance. The organization is currently responding to requests for thousands of pairs of gloves, hats, fleece jackets, thermal socks and undergarments, as well as personal goods and necessities. To donate visit www.yasharlachayal.org, or send a check to Friends of Yashar LaChayal, 49 Meadow Lane, Lawrence, N.Y. 11559.
Friends of Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) – FIDF supports educational, social, cultural, and recreational programs and facilities for IDF soldiers, as well as the families of fallen
soldiers. FIDF responds directly to the needs of IDF soldiers who right now are requesting toiletry kits, snack packages, and field towelettes for basic hygiene. To donate visit www.fidf.org.
American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) – For victims of rocket attacks, emergency medical responders can mean the difference between life and death. Magen David Adom responds with speed and get patients on their way to the hospital and the road to recovery. Minutes are crucial. To donate visit www.afmda.org.
The Libi Fund – Established in 1980 by Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, the Libi Fund helps advance the educational and medical needs of IDF soldiers through the funding of projects that improve their quality of life and enhance their well-being. To donate visit www.friendsoflibi.org.
Friends of Meir Panim – Meir Panim is an organization that provides aid to the impoverished. It is now providing basic food and shelter to the hundreds of Israeli families in the areas under fire. To donate visit www.meirpanim.org or call 877-7-dONATE (736-6283.
Overseas volunteers for the IDF – A program called “Mahal” enables young Jews from all over the world to volunteer for the IDF for a short period of time. Programs aim to contribute to Israel’s defense and to provide knowledgeable and enthusiastic young leaders for Jewish communities.
Visit Israel – Book a trip for you and your family…or find out about any of the many solidarity missions now being organized. The Israel Ministry of Tourism (www.israelministryoftourism.com) or Go Israel (www.goisrael.com) can help – or call your local Federation, synagogue or JCC.