May 13, 2021
Federation Overseas Partners Helping on the Ground in Israel
With air raid sirens blaring incessantly in Israel as thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip continue to target civilians, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s longstanding overseas partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), activated immediately to provide assistance throughout the country. In ordinary and especially extraordinary times, your support of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation/UJA Annual Campaign ensures that the people of Israel do not endure crises alone.
Throughout the barrage, JDC has been ensuring that the most critical needs of vulnerable Israelis are being met. The shock and terror of this week’s events have created additional hardships and trauma for populations that are already at-risk including children, the elderly — many of whom are Holocaust Survivors — and people with disabilities.
JDC is working with government partners and human service organizations to activate the Center for Independent Living to help thousands of people with disabilities stay connected and receive assistance. In addition, JDC is deploying state-of-the-art technology to monitor the wellbeing of thousands of Holocaust Survivors and provide virtual assistance to them and other older adults. At-risk children and families in need that are unable to work due to safety concerns and school closures are receiving social and material support.
The Jewish Agency has responded immediately through its Fund for the Victims of Terror, which is financed with special allocations from Federation and The Jewish Federations of North America. Israelis experiencing trauma and loss due to the recent bombings are already receiving financial support, often within 24 hours. Read more about this special fund here. Agency staff is also working on strengthening psychological support for the more than 900 new olim living in Absorption Centers. On Wednesday, two rockets landed in the parking lot of the Ashkelon Absorption Center, which houses 380 new immigrants. Some residents sustained minor injuries from shrapnel. Additional programs including respite camps for children and psychosocial therapy are also offered by The Jewish Agency.
Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), another Federation partner, has also organized an immediate response including emergency hotlines that offer trauma care and emotional first aid in several languages to help Israelis cope with this crisis. The organization is also providing self-help courses, resiliency workshops and individual and group therapy to first responders — including firefighters, rescue workers, local crisis response teams and property disaster assessors — to help them battle "compassion fatigue" and have the strength to continue to provide emergency services. Daily online lectures by specialized therapists also have been launched to help parents cope.