B’nai B’rith International launched its Israel Emergency Fund in response to events in Israel and the Gaza Strip in July 2014.
Its goal is to raise funds to assist Israeli residents who are dealing with a barrage of rocket attacks from Hamas. Funds could also be used to help with the personal needs of Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
Sderot, Israel, has a unique place on the front lines when the Hamas terror machine gears up. Located just one mile outside Gaza, Sderot is in the direct line of fire for Hamas rockets.
With just seconds of warning to flee to a safe shelter in the face of a Hamas rocket launch, the scars of those in this community will remain for a long time.
A six-member solidarity mission from B'nai B'rith Europe visited the town during the height of the conflict, learning firsthand about the realities faced by Israelis in the most heavily shelled areas and conveying from the organization a message of unity with the people of Israel.
Past projects of The Israel Emergency Fund include:
In the fall of 2012, Hamas turned Gaza into a launch pad for an incessant rocket assault on Israel. As Israelis sought shelter, the Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Pillar of Defense. B’nai B’rith raised funds to assist Israeli citizens forced to seeks safety in shelters.
On December 2, 2010, the Mount Carmel wildfires destroyed more than 10,000 acres of forest land, killed 41 people, and damaged 250 homes. Within days the B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund opened and raised more than $100,000 in just a few weeks. (Read the B'nai B'rith Magazine story.) These funds helped buy satellite phones (including a two-year operation package) to distribute to the commanders of 10 regional civilian search and rescue teams.
Additional funds were used to build the B’nai B’rith Fire Scouts Clubhouse at the Central Haifa Fire Station, dedicated to the memory of Elad Riven, a 16-year-old fire scout who was killed while fighting the fire (Read the magazine article here). One year after the fires were put out, in December 2011, nearly 50 Druze counselors and members of Bedouin Youth Groups from Northern Israel participated in the first-ever leadership seminar on forest safety and fire prevention.
In summer 2006, the B’nai B’rith Israel Emergency Fund aided Israeli victims, evacuees, and soldiers fighting the Hezbollah bombings. The fund sent air conditioners, computers, indoor gym and play equipment, and other items to families and children in northern Israel who had been forced into ill-equipped emergency shelters. Israeli soldiers also received books and letters of support from B'nai B'rith as part of the Sifrut (literature) for Soldiers Project.
Images from Sderot, Israel
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