UJA announces USD 60m Israel aid campaign
Jewish organization says launching new fundraising campaign to respond to crisis facing people of Israel; ‘this war will leave deep scars on even the strongest. Our help will be needed for those most seriously affected by the days spent in bomb shelters,’ organization’s CEO says
The UJA-Federation Israel Emergency Campaign, with a USD 60 million goal, will be launched at an emergency fundraising session with its highest-level donors on Thursday. UJA-Federation of New York today appropriated USD 10 million from its General Reserve fund to immediately send to Israel. The emergency campaign will be extended to all areas of the community in the coming days.
“We have just returned from Israel and we have witnessed the strength of Israel’s people, but this war will leave deep scars on even the strongest. Our help will be needed for those most seriously affected by the days spent in bomb shelters, the gnawing fear, and the unimaginable loss of loved ones,” said UJA executive vice president and CEO John S. Ruskay.
The USD 10 million emergency appropriation will provide both immediate needs for those in impacted areas of Israel as well as longer terms needs, a statement issued by the organization said. The funds will be used to help the thousands of evacuee families, including an estimated 12,000 children by providing safe locations for a summer camp experience; direct aid will also be provided to widows and orphans of fallen Israeli soldiers, the statement said.
'We needed to respond swiftly'
According to the UJA, trauma experts say that 500,000 to 600,000 children will suffer post- traumatic stress disorder along with Holocaust survivors who are reliving their nightmares, the elderly, and immigrants who have no support system.
“After personally witnessing the magnitude of this tragedy, we recognized that we needed to respond swiftly with a comprehensive approach, including this USD 60 million Israel Emergency Campaign,” explained Merryl Tisch, campaign co-chair, UJA-Federation of New York.
“As a provider of essential humanitarian services in Israel, we will work with our established partners on the ground, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and the Israel Trauma Coalition,” said John Shapiro, campaign co-chair, adding, “We are calling on the compassion and generosity of the New York Jewish community to help our brothers and sisters in Israel at this difficult time.”
In addition, the UJA-Federation said it is planning a Solidarity Mission to Israel from August 20 through 25to send a powerful message of support in person. Mission participants will meet with top officials and the people from throughout the country who have been affected by the devastation.