Update #7: Israel Emergency Grassroots Response Initiative

Since October 7, 250,000 Israelis evacuated their homes, from both the south and the north. Some in the south have returned; others have started to go back. There will be a long process of rebuilding. Meanwhile, 61,000 Israelis from 43 communities in the north are still displaced with no return date. They are in a state of limbo navigating major damage to houses and infrastructure. In the month of February alone, 400 houses were destroyed by incoming rockets from the northern border. Additionally, small business and employment has been severely disrupted.

For the evacuees living in hotels and interim apartments, they are navigating an ongoing state of emergency response. Key needs that have been and will continue to be supported by the Israel Emergency Grassroots Response Initiative include:

  1. Filling in the gap for housing and other basic needs between what the government provides and the real cost of living.
  2. Engaging teenagers who are struggling being in limbo with academic gaps, staying mentally healthy, getting enough physical activity and peer engagement.
  3. Improving quality of life through small steps that see the human in evacuees, for example making kitchens available so evacuees can cook for themselves, finding alternatives to hotels and more.
  4. Supporting community centers in places where evacuees are living so they can integrate and participate in community life.

One of the key challenges identified during our last webinar is that the north has received far less attention from philanthropy and volunteers and yet the needs are profound. The dynamic and escalating situation described by our guest presenters means they may only get deeper.

We’ve learned that grassroots interventions make a big difference in helping those whose lives have been torn apart find hope and humanity.