Original source: Article published in The Canadian Jewish News – by: Lila SarickCanadian Jewish federations and non-profit organizations have launched fundraising appeals to help Israeli communities dealing with rocket attacks from Gaza.
Jewish federations across North America have committed to raising between $10 and $15 million to help Israel deal with the extraordinary challenges being placed on the state, said Deborah Corber, CEO of Federation CJA of Montreal.
The appeal is being called an “urgency campaign” as opposed to a widespread emergency call, said Ted Sokolosky, president of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
“We’re not launching an emergency campaign. We’re contributing to an initial effort to step up to address Israel’s needs,” clarified Corber.
Israel’s needs are evolving daily, and money will be needed for reconstruction and counselling once hostilities cease, she said.
In the meantime, funds will be used for trauma counselling and to remove vulnerable people, especially senior citizens and children, to respite areas. Mobile bomb shelters and improvements to existing bomb shelters are also needed in the regions under attack.
UJA of Greater Toronto has raised about $600,000 since its drive was launched Wednesday. Federation appealed to some of its major donors at a private event, which had been previously scheduled, Wednesday night.
Funds have also been raised through an ongoing email campaign. Federation hopes to reach its goal of between $750,000 and $900,00 within the next week.
In Montreal, about $15,000 has been raised in the first 24 hours of the campaign, and Corber said she’s confident the campaign will reach its goal of about $500,000.
The Jewish National Fund of Canada has raised about $20,000 in the first 24 hours of its emergency appeal, launched by email Wednesday.
The funds will be used to send children from regions currently under attack to respite camps in the north of Israel, said Josh Cooper, CEO of JNF Canada.
One Family Fund of Canada, which provides financial and emotional support to victims of terror and their families, has also launched a fundraising campaign.
Families who have already been personally traumatized by terror have special needs when hostilities begin again, said Gary Tile, executive director of One Family Fund Canada.
In addition to moving families away from areas that are being bombarded, the fund also offers additional psychological and emotional support.
“It’s not just moving them out, although that’s a part of it. It’s a very painful experience for them,” Tile said.
In Israel, staff and volunteers of One Family Fund have contacted 1,000 families by phone and visited 80 families in person since the bombing campaign began, he said.