Jews' Next Dor

Congregation Beth David's Young Adult Group for Jewish 20 & 30 Somethings

Israel Needs Our Help: A letter from the Silicon Valley Jewish Federation President

Posted by challahbackgirl on January 12, 2009

A letter from the Silicon Valley Jewish Federation President:

January 12, 2009

Dear friends,

Yesterday, members of our community stood (over) 600 proud at a rally on behalf of Israel in San Jose as part of a week long effort to raise awareness of Israel’s plight. We now ask that you stand with the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and the Federations of North America to raise money for those most affected by the war: our friends and family in Israel. Our national goal is to raise $10 million. Though we may sometimes feel powerless to help ease the pain of Israeli civilians in the conflict zone, there is in fact much we can do together right now.

We have been asked by our partners, Jewish Agency for Israel and the Joint Distribution Committee to provide funds for:

Ø Single-day respite activities to evacuate children from the front lines

Ø Critical support packages for residents seeking refuge in bomb shelters across southern Israel

Ø Assistance for disabled and seniors living in the region

Ø Urgent interventions to help new immigrants in Jewish Agency absorption centers in the south cope with the fear and anxiety of war

Let me explain.

For nearly eight years, about 250,000 Israelis who live in Southern Israel have lived under the daily threat of missiles fired at them from the Gaza Strip. The recent ceasefire gave them a short respite, but since the ceasefire ended, the barrage has been relentless, and the range of the rockets has expanded. Now residents of Beersheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod and our sister city, Kiryat Malachi are afraid to leave their homes, and recently a rocket landed just 20 miles south of Tel Aviv.

Thousands of children who live in Sderot and other towns spend more time in bomb shelters than in classrooms. According to a study conducted by the Israel Center for Victims of Terror and War, more than 75 percent of children in Sderot exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress—and that was in January 2008 before this conflict started.

Of course, it’s not just the children who are affected by the stressful situation. New immigrants living in absorption centers in the region are receiving a harsh welcome to their new home. And the 25,000 elderly and disabled living within 25 miles of the Gaza border panic each time the “Color Red” sirens sound, because getting to a shelter is so difficult for them—and not getting to a shelter in time could be deadly.

We now need your help to address some of the problems that plague these Israelis on a daily basis.

  • $1,200 walkie talkie systems for department and security heads during emergencies when cell phone systems collapse
  • $315 for bus rentals to take vulnerable populations to towns in the north and center of the country
  • $180 will provide bedding for a bomb shelter
  • $118 for board games for one bomb shelter
  • $54 for bandages for one bomb shelter and,
  • $20 for one counseling session for a trauma victim.

We can ameliorate the pain; we can address real needs with your help. Please open your hearts and donate today.

B’Shalom,

Steve G., President

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