Assessing and Rebuilding in Israel’s North

The worst fire in the history of the State of Israel has been brought under control and the process of assessing needs and rebuilding has begun. According to the JNF, “At least 42 people have died, 25,000 were evacuated, homes were lost and more than 12,500 acres of forests destroyed. JNF foresters estimate over 5 million trees were burned and initial estimates put the total cost of damage to the region at about $75 million.

The extent of the burnt area is comparable in size to 40% of Jerusalem or no less than 7,142 football fields.”

With residents slowly returning to their homes, the dismantling of the emergency command headquarters at the University of Haifa, the immediate crisis has passed. As the needs assessment begins, by both the Government and individual organizations, here are a number of status reports, articles etc, as a reference point:

from The Jerusalem Post:

Knesset, Jewish world come together in ‘moment of truth’

Although MKs were still busy on Monday assigning – and deflecting – blame for the Carmel fire, the first Knesset hearing held on the blaze focused not on the cause of the fire, but on the solutions to the problems that emerged as a result.

The Immigration, Absorption and Public Diplomacy Committee met to discuss how to coordinate donations and fund-raising for the people, communities and parks damaged in the four-day conflagration.

Committee chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud) said that on Sunday, a number of Diaspora organizations had requested that the Knesset committee aid in organizing and centralizing the mobilization of Jewish communities to help restore the Carmel.

“We cannot wait weeks or months to restore this unique natural gem,” Danon said.

“There has been great damage done to many families, to infrastructures and to the forests themselves, and we must act quickly and with the cooperation of world Jewish communities to provide aid.”

A number of the world’s largest Jewish organizations participated in the hearing, during which they discussed both the damage incurred by the fires as well as their fundraising efforts to help restore the Carmel region.

Status reports prepared by partner agencies of the Jewish Federations of North America:

We also direct you to the Carmel Fire section of our website; here you will also find personal stories from Israelis – youths and adults – and their connection to the disaster. You will find an article speaking about the University of Haifa and their role during the crisis, and one on a unique fundraising initiative by the members of the ROI Community.

Our post, Fundraising Efforts Launched in Response to Israel Forest Fires, contains links to donation pages from a number of organizations.