By: Asher Suloway-Baker, NFTY-NW, Micah Symons, NFTY-PAR, Isabel Namath, NFTY-MAR, Lainey Komerofsky, NFTY-TOR, Marissa Klass, NFTY-GER, Lexie Fried, NFTY-NEL
These past few weeks in Israel, especially Haifa, have been filled with sadness and tragedy due to fires. Officials have cited arson and a perfect storm of natural circumstances, as cause for the many fires sweeping the small state. It is unclear exactly how much damage has occurred, however, it is apparent that these fires have negatively affected thousands of families. Israelis have been displaced from all over, and in Haifa alone over 75,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes. The international community has rushed to support Israel, dispatching hundreds of aid workers, giving hope to an excessively difficult fight to quell the blaze. Partners from near and far, such as Jordan, The US, Turkey, The Palestinian Authority and many more have joined the coalition supporting Israel. With these efforts, an unprecedented windfall of international support has begun pushing Israel towards recovery.
One of NFTY’s core principles is “Medinat Yisrael- The centrality of the State of Israel to the strength and survival of the Jewish People”. The global response to these fires could be an indicator of the future, the State of Israel, and thus the Jewish people. We will need to collaborate with our global partners to ensure the future of the Jewish State.
During this time of tragedy and need, The URJ and NFTY are able to step up and allocate funds towards the bettering of this situation. NFTY can fuel movements like rehabilitation organizations to help victims of the fires along the path towards recovery. While Israeli authority is helping as much as they can, through efforts of rebuilding homes and seizing fires, global support is instrumental in helping Israel. Members of the Reform youth movement can donate, in an effort to help raise the necessary funds to help rebuild and provide relief.
As we turn to the east, we must acknowledge our moral and ethical obligation to support the state of Israel in its time of need.
If you are interested in how you, your family, your friends, and your Jewish community can help out:
- Donations to ARZA and ARZA Canada will go directly to Keren B’Kavod, the humanitarian arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, to help support those in need.
- Donations to the Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel Fire Emergency Fund will be directed appropriately following an assessment of urgent and emerging needs.