SAN DIEGO, November 22, 2012 – As the events unfold in Israel, many of you may be glued to TV news like I am. Many of you, as do I, have family and friends in Israel. We hope we hear from them. We pray that they are safe.
As the San Diego Regional President of the Jewish National Fund and a member of the JNF Women for Israel National Board, I receive briefings and information about the latest situation. From the moment the violence escalated in Israel, JNF was there, engaged in activities from keeping the wonderful Sderot playground/bomb shelter open 24 hours a day, to providing aid to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
For those not familiar with the Jewish National Fund, it was originally established in 1901 to help fund creation of a Jewish state through land purchase and development. From its very inception, JNF was dedicated to practical work, but its educational and informational activities went hand in glove with this work. In 1926, JNF was incorporated in the U.S., developing a uniquely American effort to support development in Israel. Its six action areas included ecology and afforestation; water; community development; research and development; tourism and recreation; and education. This remains its mission today. All these activities support the long term well-being of Israel’s people, especially its children.
As Jews in America, if we are not the caretakers of our homeland, who will be? As one million Israelis in cities and towns find themselves under attack, the Jewish National Fund is taking action to help them. Rockets have now reached as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. School is cancelled. Life has come to a standstill.
Americans of all faiths are joining Jewish Americans staging rallies in cities across the United States, including Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Diego. Jewish leaders have traveled to Israel to show their support. This is heartening to me personally.
If you want to do more than just speak up, supporting JNF through a donation to emergency relief is a way to turn your support into reality for thousands of people in Israel who remain under siege.
Where does your donation go?
JNF is working with Sderot Mayor David Bouskila to keep its Sderot Indoor Recreation Center open. In peacetime, the playground rings with the sound of children who can play safely indoors where they are protected from enemy threats. Now, the Center doubles as a state-of-the-art bomb shelter, open 24 hours a day. Sleeping arrangements are being made, services are offered for seniors in a safe setting, and Green Horizons, a JNF partner, provides entertainment for children.
JNF is providing aid to Israeli firefighters, who have been on call 24 hours a day and are the first on the scene of rocket-ignited fires and rocket-related accidents. Donations are being used to purchase much-needed firefighting equipment, send food to fire stations, and provide personal toiletry kits to firefighters.
With rockets falling in the new community of Halutza, JNF is providing funds so that children can be taken away from the region. This will finance student and educational staff transportation, activities, and sleeping arrangements.
Beginning Sunday morning November 18, JNF opened dozens of locations as safe havens to all citizens of southern Israel, including Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, Kiftzuba Amusement Park outside of Jerusalem Neot Kedumim near Modiin, and 30 historical sites managed by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage sites (a JNF partner).
JNF provides buses to bring children and families to these sites from a few designated areas approved by the IDF Home Front Command. Food and entertainment are also being provided.
JNF’s many supporters around the world including the U.S. fund these activities that keep the civilian population safe and secure and provide what “normalcy” exists in the midst of bloodshed. It costs an estimated $25,000 to support 1,800 people – a bargain, really. These activities are not political. They are humanitarian.
You can visit JNF’s website, learn more about its projects and support one or more with your direct donation online.
The calm, cool way people in Israel cope with the air raid sirens, living in shelters, and rocket fire is amazing. All they ask is for the chance to raise their children in a safe, healthy happy environment. JNF and its supporters are doing whatever we can to make that dream come true.
On behalf of JNF, Shabbat Shalom and Happy Thanksgiving.
Myra Chack Fleischer founded Fleischer & Associates in 2001 and serves as Lead Counsel with a focus on divorce, property, custody and support, settlement agreements, mediation, asset division and family law appeals. Read more Legally Speaking in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Fleischer & Associates on Facebook and on Twitter @LawyerMyra
Copyright © 2012 by Fleischer & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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