The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver has made a new transfer of more than $1 million from its Israel Emergency Campaign (IEC). This is its fourth transfer of funds and brings the total transferred to Israel to approximately $7.5 million.
It has been 125 days since Oct. 7 and Israel is facing challenges that continue to evolve and deepen as time goes by and the war continues. The IEC allocations committee, chaired by Stephen Gaerber, has reviewed funding proposals with great care to ensure that this latest round of allocations addresses the developing needs on the ground.
To give local community members a sense of what Israelis are facing at this stage, Federation asked Rachel Sachs, director of its Israel office, to provide this summary:
“As the army continues to fight in Gaza, the loss of soldiers’ lives and the ongoing state of captivity of 136 Israelis in Gaza is a growing and unbearable burden that is taking its toll on Israelis across the country. In the last few weeks, many reservists have been released from duty, with the understanding that they may get called up again. Their return home, after months in the battlefield, has sparked a new set of challenges in their families, their professional paths, academic journeys, and more.
“The evacuation of approximately 130,000 Israelis from the north and the south continues. Some remain housed in hotel rooms across the country, often miles away from home. Some residents of these frontline communities remain determined to return home the minute they will be allowed to, some remain determined that they will never go back, and others are trying to determine what it will take for them to return, both in terms of their sense of security, and actual security itself.
“Many of the devastated communities of the Gaza Envelope have either found, or are seeking, sites to which they can relocate together. Until their home kibbutzim are rebuilt, that is. They have been taken in by communities across the country, where they are, hopefully, experiencing a small sense of home for the first time since they fled their real homes months ago.
“The mental and emotional toll of this extended situation is growing, as the need for ongoing care and therapy for survivors, bereaved families and evacuated communities continues in multiple locations across Israel.
“In our partnership region of the Upper Galilee, the state of emergency continues.
“There is great uncertainty and concern over when the ‘day after’ will be and what will it look like. There is ongoing outreach to evacuated residents, with the understanding that community resilience is a critical factor in bringing people back home and offering them a hopeful future, together, in the north.”
Funding for this round of allocations is focused in four areas: emergency and humanitarian needs, respite for evacuees, economic support, and targeted populations. The following organizations are recipients of this round of IEC allocations:
Adler Institute: support programs for returning reservists and their families to address the specific needs related to returning from service, as defined by the reservists themselves.
Haruv Institute: a leader in training professionals who treat children suffering from trauma, abuse, and neglect, the institute is providing training for Eshkol Region healthcare professionals who are treating children.
Yeelim Centre at Ein Yael: nature therapy for survivors of the Nova festival, families of soldiers, evacuees, and more.
Ziv Medical Centre: funding to expand the centre’s emergency mental health work, so the hospital – itself in the line of fire and operating in emergency mode – can respond to the evolving needs and growing numbers of patients.
Kiryat Shmona Psychiatric Unit: currently operating from a temporary location in Tiberias, funding is to build a safe room at the Kiryat Shmona facility to ensure they can keep up treatment with patients when they return home.
Upper Galilee Hospice: support for terminally ill evacuated patients and their caregivers.
Yozmot Atid: support for the growing number of businesswomen who have been evacuated, some of whom also have spouses who have been serving as reservists for the past three months.
Israel Diving Federation: therapeutics diving excursions for survivors and evacuees from both northern and southern Israel.
Taglit-Birthright Israel: week-long respites for residents of the Eastern Galilee.
Road to Recovery: transportation for evacuees from across the country to reach their treatment sessions in their home regions, which are now often miles away.
Hannaton Education Centre: support for Kibbutz Hannaton to continue to house families of asylum seekers from Sderot, who were evacuated and have nowhere else to go.
Beit Issie Shapiro: rehabilitation and therapy programs for displaced families of individuals with disabilities.
To donate to the Israel Emergency Campaign and for a full summary of the support given to date, visit jewishvancouver.com.
– Courtesy Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver