The people of Israel are under assault by a prolonged and deadly barrage of rocket fire, originating from Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza. The attack is virtually unprecedented in its range and scale, creating trauma and destruction throughout the country and tragically killing a growing number of innocent civilians. The city of Jerusalem has been targeted by rockets for the first time since the 2014 Gaza War.
As a deeply committed Jewish community, we stand in solidarity with our family in Israel and pray for their safety and well-being. We recognize the suffering of all people at the hands of terrorists, and we look forward to a de-escalation to this conflict and an end to the senseless violence that threatens the welfare and safety of all who hope for peace. Above all, the Jewish Federation remains steadfast in its support for the people and nation of Israel.
Throughout the conflict, we have remained in close contact with our global partner agencies who are now working tirelessly to protect and support the many innocent victims in cities across Israel.
A brief snapshot of these efforts:
The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) has placed its Fund for the Victims of Terror into Emergency Mode. The Fund is in contact with the families of the homes that were directly damaged in Ashkelon and the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, as well as others who have been injured, to determine whether emergency funds are needed and will distribute as appropriate.
The Ashkelon Resilience Center, whose team was extensively trained by Federations’ partner the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), is functioning at full emergency capacity. Teams were on emergency duty throughout the night and are preparing to provide reinforcement for local staff in line with any future developments. Anxiety victims are also being treated by ITC in the areas around Jerusalem, where a number of long-range rockets fell yesterday.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), another overseas partner of the Detroit Jewish Federation which is committed to the rescue and relief of Jews and others in danger, is convening their emergency situation team and are assessing the situation on the ground and needs.
As the situation unfolds, we want to share with you the following opportunities for briefings that have been put together by Jewish Federations of North America and The Jewish Agency for Israel.
Wednesday, May 12 | 1:00PM – 2:00PM
Special briefing on the escalation in Israel, with the Israel Defense Forces’ International Media Spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus.
Thursday, May 13 | 12:00PM – 12:30PM
Join former Member of Knesset and expert in international law, Michal Cotler-Wunsh as she addresses the questions “What are the causes behind the current flare-up of violence in Israel? What’s really going on in Jerusalem and Gaza?”
Thursday, May 13 | 2:00PM
Join the JCRC/AJC for Situation in Israel: Jewish Federation Shaliach Yiftah Leket interviews Anna Ahronheim, military reporter for the Jerusalem Post.
Additionally, yesterday The Jewish Agency for Israel held a special briefing with Ambassador Dr. Michael Oren and Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog, which you can view by clicking the button below.
Matthew B. Lester, President, JFMD
Dennis S. Bernard, President, UJF
Steven Ingber, CEO, JFMD