Update #1: Israel Emergency Grassroots Response Initiative
The needs of this crisis change by the minute. The magnitude and rippling affects of the emergency necessitate multiple drivers of impact. Civil society leaders have stepped up to assume major roles. Trusted grassroots partners need the ability to pivot to address emerging needs, take on new areas, and work with institutions to scale and establish sustainable funding streams after an initial period of emergency response. We are keeping in close in touch with first responders and will share weekly needs as identified by those on the ground so you can learn and pivot approaches alongside them.
Focus Areas this Week:
1. Bridge Housing and Support for Evacuated Families
More than 200,000 people have been evacuated from the South and the North. More than half struggled to make ends meet even before this crisis. In many cases, their homes were destroyed and they had just moments to flee. Depending on where they live, plans for their housing are either only partially covered or not at all covered by the government. In most cases, they must front significant funds. Many are being resettled in Eilat, Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea region. Volunteers, through a coalition of grassroots initiatives, are working day and night to place evacuees and provide needed supplies such as clothing, learning tools for school children, food, and other basic supplies.
- Hosting 1 person for 3 nights = $300 (average family = $1,500)
- A gift of $30,000 would cover 20 families
- A gift of $100,000 would cover 100 families
2. Funerals and Shiva for Bereaved Families
Thousands of families are grieving loved ones killed in terrorist attacks and battle. This number grows daily. As of this email, for about half these families, shivas have not yet started because of the process of identifying the deceased. While in general, the IDF has systems to support bereaved military families, there is no such system for civilians. Many families in acute trauma lack funds to pay for funerals and for shiva mourning period expenses such as tents, chairs, food for visitors, and more. In general, they are not sitting shiva at home but at their relocated locations.
A network of volunteers, coordinated by a grassroots organization led by Charedi (Ultra Orthodox) and secular Israelis, is working together to ensure funerals and shivas are well-attended. They often mobilize people in the middle of the night to attend the funerals of strangers due to the Jewish tradition of same-day burial. Volunteers visit shiva homes, asses needs, and provide funds to cover expenses and follow-up support. There will be substantial mental health and post-trauma aid needed.
- One shiva = $600
- One shiva for a family facing hardship = $1,200
3. Releasing the Hostages
More than 1,500 volunteers, including top security, medicine, media, and legal experts, are working together to push for the release of 200+ hostages and to support their families. This is requiring a tremendous amount of advocacy to influence global opinion and the countries that support Hamas, financial support and psychological assistance for family members, worldwide media and PR campaigns, organizing events and activities to maintain global awareness, and more.
Pidyon shvuyim (releasing the captive) is one of the most important mitzvot, commandments, in Jewish tradition. Support is needed for this critical effort.
Make an unrestricted gift to address the highest-priority needs or give for a specific area.
These are urgent needs. Every dollar raised will be forwarded and advanced by the Initiative to provide immediate support.
Please notify us of contributions so we can advance the funds.