Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THANK YOU For Your Support During The Crisis

Dear Jewish Federation of San Diego County,

We want to thank you for your community’s efforts on behalf of Israel and its people during Operation Protective Edge.  In particular, the funds you have raised for JFNA’s “Stop the Sirens” campaign enabled The Jewish Agency for Israel respond to the crisis.  As your operating agents on the ground, we have:

• Taken 70,000 children on respite day trips out of the rocket-zones, providing them a break from the stress and their relieving their parents from having to entertain and calm them in shelters and safe rooms time and again.  This is not only an act of chesed, of loving-kindness, but something our experts assure us has real impact on reducing the incidence of post-traumatic stress.

• Provided over 75 families who have suffered the loss of a loved one, injury, or physical damage to their homes with immediate cash assistance and the assurance of additional financial aid as their needs develop.

•  Counseled, comforted, and protected residents of absorption centers and Amigour housing facilities in the Gaza periphery.

And while these exceptional steps were undertaken, our ongoing programs rose to the challenge as well.  Through Partnership Together, the professionals and volunteers of the Partnerships in southern Israel have extended themselves to assist those who have suffered; Partnership communities further north have organized additional assistance for the affected regions; and the American Partners have provided enormous reassurance to their Israeli communities.  We have assured the safety of Israel program participants—Masa, Onward, and others—and there can be little doubt that their experiences in this exceptional moment will deeply affect their future connections to Israel.  Our shlichim across America and the globe have rallied Jews—in summer camps, JCCs, synagogues, federations, and beyond—in solidarity with Israelis under fire.  And so much more—all with your ongoing support.

With the conclusion of the conflict hopefully not far away, the Government of Israel is calling upon us to turn our attention to address the needs of a region that has lived under siege since the 2005 Disengagement, and even prior.  We have long discussed the demographic, economic, and security challenges of Israel’s periphery regions.  But this moment is different.  The sustained missile bombardment and extent of the Hamas tunnel system evidenced a level of threat in the Gaza periphery beyond what many of us perceived- one that has severely shaken those who live there and that could undermine future development in the region.

And far from the rockets, the mobilization of pro-Palestinian activists promises to make the coming academic year one of unparalleled challenge for Jews on campus in the United States—and even more severely in Europe.

We must respond.  The Jewish Agency for Israel is working intensively to meet the imperatives of the moment, and to do so, we will need your help.  Our core capacities and existing program platforms offer enormous opportunity to strengthen the communal infrastructure of the Gaza Periphery, redouble the bonds between Americans and Israelis at a fraught moment, and support Jewish students on campus.

We will be submitting our detailed proposals to JFNA, and we will share them with you.  Our continuing partnership with you and the Government of Israel will be as important as ever.  We urge you to address the post-conflict realities with the same dedication you brought in these past weeks.

Thank you,


Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive                 
Charles Ratner, Chairman of the Board of Governors

Alan Hoffmann, Director General
Misha's Sign...
Misha Galperin, President & CEO,
International Development


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