JDC and JNF Swing Into Action in Israel’s South

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) has informed eJP that their emergency response system has been activated to ensure the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable Israelis impacted by the ongoing military actions in Israel’s South. JDC has been working with the Israeli government and local municipalities as close to 250 rockets have been fired and where three people were killed earlier today in Kiryat Malakhi in a direct hit to their home.

JDC’s Center for Independent Living for people with disabilities in Be’er Sheva is continuing to serve its members out of the home of the Center’s director and an emergency worker is contacting all Center members to determine their individual needs. In Kiryat Malakhi, JDC’s Better Together program is caring for 30 displaced families whose building was bombed and deemed uninhabitable by providing basic needs and finding them temporary shelter. For hundreds of elderly who rely on JDC’s Day Centers for daily hot meals throughout the region, staff is delivering food to their homes.

Separately, the Jewish National Fund has announced they will keep its Sderot Indoor Recreation Center open 24 hours a day. The 21,000 square foot center doubles as a bomb shelter and can accommodate more than 1,800 people on a rotating basis. Sleeping arrangements are being made, teachers will be brought in while schools remain closed, extra activities for children will be provided by the Green Horizons youth group, and services for seniors are being offered.

“The indoor playground is a lifeline for us,” said Sderot Mayor David Bouskila. “It gives the children a chance to be normal and has changed the way this city behaves and feels. It is the best thing that has happened to us.”

Update: The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Fund for Victims of Terror has distributed emergency grants to residents who were injured or whose houses were damaged by rocket fire. The Jewish Federations of North America has provided the funding for these grants. The average emergency grant is $1000. per terror victim. The grants are intended to help residents with their initial recovery after an attack. In the last few days, representatives of the Fund have visited the homes of families who have suffered from rocket fire and distributed the emergency funds.

In addition to the emergency grants, residents who are recognized as victims of terror by the Israel National Insurance Institute can apply to The Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror to receive additional assistance of up to $5000. These further grants are intended to help ease the recovery period and fund additional necessities which are not covered by Israeli government institutions.