In the Vancouver Jewish community’s Upper Galilee Partnership Region, thousands of residents have been evacuated. Funds raised here will provide emergency preparedness funding, which will be directed to strengthening preparedness with emergency war rooms for community centres. A week’s worth of food and other necessities will be delivered to vulnerable families in Kiryat Shmona in the event of an attack.
The initial transfer of $2.1 million from the $15 million raised by the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver’s Israel Emergency Campaign has gone to the following programs:
- Jewish Agency for Israel Victims of Terror Fund provides immediate grants to assist victims within 48 hours of their homes being damaged by rocket fire, as well as long-term rehabilitation grants to allow those impacted by terrorism to receive the post-trauma care they require.
- Respite for Olim Living in the South provides a five-day respite period for 2,000 olim, newcomers to Israel, from absorption centres in southern Israel, so they can sleep through the night without fear of running to shelters. Olim who do not want to leave their homes can benefit from respite activities within the absorption centres, including entertainment and educational programming for children and teens to take their minds off the current situation temporarily and allow parents a few moments to themselves to address their own needs.
- Joint Distribution Committee Support for Disabled Populations of the South delivers services for people with disabilities, including a designated hotline staffed by psychologists and social workers.
- Israel Trauma Coalition Direct Mental Health Care provides immediate, direct care to minimize the number of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to providing their usual crisis care, ITC is supporting bereaved families, families of the missing and abducted, and injured individuals and their families.
- Israel Association of Community Centres Emergency Financial Aid funds community centres in two southern communities to help them meet needs such as buses to evacuate residents, day outings to amusement parks and nature excursions, overnight retreats, purchasing of emergency and medical equipment and provisions, electricity generators, recreational equipment for children, food parcels, diapers, toiletries, and more.
- Dror Israel Evacuated and Hospitalized Teens and Youngsters offers therapeutic and educational programs for children and families in Rehovot, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat and Ashkelon, with more locations opening as soon as it is deemed safe. Daycare for children of hospital workers, day camp activities at hospitals for kids ages 3-12, as well as in-person and online programming are offered. Dror Israel is working with communities in which it is already embedded and with whom the counselors already have established trusting relationships.
- Kedma Southern Student Communities works with mental health professionals to provide on-the-ground support to the shattered communities of the south and brings students there together as a community. This includes support and informal programming to fortify community resilience and minimize risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. Funds will support 10 communities over three months.
- United Hatzalah Protective Gear for Volunteers and Helpers will receive funding for 40 protective gear units for 40 first responders.
- Shalva – Supporting Disabled Residents of Southern Israel is assisting more than 1,000 evacuees with disabilities from southern Israel, who are expected to arrive at the Shalva National Crisis Response Centre over the coming days. Funding will ensure they have the clothing, medications and supplies they need, while providing them with the social services support they require to process the recent trauma.
- Beit HaLochem – Supporting Veterans from Southern Israel supports senior veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as newly injured veterans.
Federation will continue to monitor the evolving situation and needs in Israel to prioritize the next round of grants.
To donate, visit jewishvancouver.com.
– Courtesy Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver