Monday, November 17, 2014

An Update From Israel | Allocation of Funds from Reach Out For Israel Campaign


This summer was a tumultuous one for San Diego’s sister community, Sha’ar HaNegev, which was under constant threat of rockets and terrorist tunnels during Operation Protective Edge. The violence, fear, and destruction caused many families to leave the southern region of Israel, seeking refuge in the north. Throughout the conflict, the people of Sha’ar HaNegev remained strong, endured endless assault, and will once again thrive as a unified, robust, and vibrant community.

As history reveals– Israel has always been the underdog– triumphantly prevailing through adverse circumstances only to prosper as a stronger nation. Rebuilding damaged communities, invigorating the economy, and attracting people to the region – some of the major challenges facing Sha’ar HaNegev – will be overcome with great tenacity, determination, and an unbroken willpower demonstrated by the Jewish people. As revitalization and reconstruction begin, “there is a strong sense of excitement and energy accompanied with a bit of trepidation” said Michael Sonduck, President and CEO of Federation, who just returned from the region.

The residents of our sister community are stridently moving forward – just as early Zionists once did – with a pioneering spirit and entrepreneurial mindset. The $3.4M in emergency relief funds raised by Federation’s Reach Out For Israel Campaign went directly to Israel, with more than $1M allocated to go to Sha’ar HaNegev for humanitarian aid and rebuilding a war-torn community.

Your generosity allowed us to focus on expanding the population base, providing business incentives and loans, funding scholarships for local students, providing mental health care for victims of terror, constructing lifesaving shelters, and supporting new immigrants and lone soldiers. On behalf of your support and due to Federation partners, 1,500 students have been provided with college scholarships to attend school in the south, a special (and attractive) loan fund for southern businesses has been established, and financial support for families who have suffered loss or injury is being provided—with nearly 100 emergency grants to date.

In addition to providing financial aid, Federation dollars have gone towards an increased effort to connect young Jews, especially in wake of this summer’s hostilities, to Israel at the present moment and well into the future. By strategically boosting the placement of emissaries and Israeli Fellows located on North American college campuses—improving the representation of the nation, increasing education, and encouraging travel— a strong and lasting sentiment towards the Jewish state will be created.

Thank you for your support of Israel!

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