Jewish Federations of North America announced today that they have collectively raised $554 million for their Israel Emergency Campaign. The campaign was launched on October 12th with an initial goal of $500 million
To date, $111 million
have been allocated to over 60 organizations in Israel to support frontline communities, the Fund for Victims of Terror, trauma relief, medical equipment, support for first responders and volunteer efforts. One hundred percent of all funds raised are making it into the hands of the organizations that can do the most good on the ground.
"When we launched this campaign, we could not possibly imagine how vast the needs would be to meet the urgent humanitarian crisis, as well as the longer-term effort to rehabilitate and rebuild," said Jewish Federations of North America Chair Julie Platt. "It is clear that our original goal of $500M will not meet these needs and we will continue our efforts as long as is necessary. So much has changed on the ground since we set our initial goal just five days into this conflict, and we are only starting to comprehend the enormity of the task."
In the aftermath of Hamas's unprecedented, shocking, and brutal terrorist attack on Israel, Jewish Federations quickly mobilized to address the immediate needs on the ground, supporting communities under fire and helping people living in shelters or hospitals because of their evacuation from the battle fronts.
With 200,000 Israelis displaced, the danger of a multi-front war, and the array of human and economic challenges growing by the day, Jewish Federations will expand their support in line with the ever-developing needs.
"As we continue to fully comprehend the scope of the needs—both immediate and longer-term—I could not be prouder of the dedication our communities have shown and their willingness to give tremendously to help Israel during this dark hour," said National Campaign Chair David Heller. "This campaign, this war effort, and this community mobilization represent a generation-defining moment."
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.
Our community has given special focus to populations with additional needs such as the elderly and their caregivers, those with mental impairments, children at risk, Russian-speakers, Amharic-speakers, lone soldiers, and Arab, Bedouin and Haredi groups affected by the horrors of the war.
We are grateful that the Union of Reform Judaism, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Hillel International, the JCC Association of North America, National Council of Jewish Women, Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, and Prizmah have joined us in a unified campaign effort, and we welcome others to do so as well.
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.
Campaign has distributed hundreds of thousands of ribbons in support of the over 200 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.
Across North America, Federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils are mobilizing from the local level all the way to Washington
to drive home the importance of continued political backing for Israel in its fight against terror. Federations have helped organize over 120 community events
, drawing hundreds of thousands of supporters and including leading political and civic leaders.
Photo credit: Yakir Amos