December 5, 2010
Israeli officials are cautiously optimistic that after 60 hours of non-stop battle, they are gaining the upper hand in the worst forest fire in the Jewish State's history. According to most sources, unless there is a sudden deterioration in the situation, most of the fire should be under control by Sunday night.
Meanwhile, The Jewish Federations of North American continued to lead the Jewish Federation mobilization response to support victims of the fire and to plan for longer-term recovery efforts.
Our movement is acting in a very focused and timely manner to help support the victims of this disaster, in collaboration with the Government of Israel and our overseas partners," said JFNA's President and CEO, Jerry Silverman.
When the fires ignited, JFNA quickly gathered its leadership and that of its partner agencies, including the JDC and Jewish Agency to help lead a coordinated response.
JFNA - top professionals and volunteers convened in a series of emergency sessions to gather emerging details on the crisis, assess the needs on the ground and determine a strategy to respond quickly and effectively. On Friday, JFNA held a teleconference with Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, for an official update on the crisis for more than 150 communities. (For details on listening to a recording of that call and for more news on the crisis, click here.)
Currently JFNA and Federations are leading a range of fundraising activities including opening emergency mailboxes. JFNA and its partners are planning for how to deploy these resources with our partner agencies most effectively.
For the latest report on JDC activities, click here.
For the latest report on JAFI activities, click here.
For the latest report on Israel Trauma Coalition activities, click here.
Those who wish can donate to a special JFNA emergency fund. Checks should be sent to the Israel Forest Fire Disaster Relief Fund, and made payable to The Jewish Federations of North America, care of: Wall Street Station, PO Box 148, New York, NY 10268. Funds can also be donated online at this dedicated page.
To see information on how to donate via your mobile device, visit this special information resource page on the crisis, which includes news stories and other materials, and will be regularly updated.
JFNA continues to monitor the situation and will keep Federations informed as details are available.