Oct 17, 2023
Fund for Victims of Terror Helping Now in Israel
On Saturday, October 7, the Bar-Gil family from Nirim was evacuated from their home after being besieged for many hours following the infiltration of Hamas terrorists into their kibbutz. When Doron Almog, Chairman of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation overseas partner The Jewish Agency for Israel, met with Rami Bar-Gil, the father of the family, Rami recounted the ordeal they went through:
“It all started at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. My daughter was at a friend’s house and called us from the road to say she was making her way back home when suddenly, an IED (improvised explosive device) landed right next to her car. She immediately got out of the car and ran for shelter. I got up in a panic and raced over in my car to pick her up, but when I got to her we couldn’t leave the shelter because of the rain of the rockets. While we were in the shelter, we started hearing gunshots and that’s when we realized that there were terrorists in the kibbutz. After about two and a half hours inside the shelter, it seemed the fight outside had calmed down a bit, so I made the decision to leave the shelter.
“My daughter and I got in my car and flew to the house. My son, Tomer, waited for us there, and we ran to him in the shelter and broke the handle of the door to our safe room (a lot of people did this so that the terrorists wouldn’t be able to open the shelter from outside). As soon as we got in, we heard a very loud explosion that shook the whole safe room. Then we realized that a missile was fired at the house and a battle was happening behind our home.
“Around 5 p.m., security forces arrived and rescued our family. When we saw the security forces, it felt like we saw angels in white taking us out of this hell.
“Ella, my daughter, soon discovered that her best friend whom she had grown up with had been murdered, as had her friend’s father. We are a small agricultural community, and we all know each other.
"The kibbutz was almost completely destroyed. Now we are staying in a hotel in Eilat and trying to figure out what’s next for us. How do we restore our lives? We will have to start all over. And we will need all of the Jewish people’s help to do this.”
Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Israel Emergency Fund, families like the Bar-Gils received immediate assistance through our overseas partner The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Fund for Victims of Terror (FVOT) to assist in their recovery — both physical and emotional. In less than 48 hours of the attacks, the Bar-Gils and other affected individuals and families received an immediate grant that they could use for housing, food, medicine or any other urgent need. The FVOT then provides ongoing support, including rehabilitation grants of up to $6,200 for post-trauma care and a case worker to help victims navigate the Israeli social service system to receive insurance and government grants for longer-term support. To date, $17 million has been allocated to FVOT through the Jewish Federations of North America.
Click here to donate to the Israel Emergency Fund.