January 13, 2009 / 17 Tevet 5769
On Monday, January 12th, senior representatives of the Jewish Federations North America toured Israel's South as part of a solidarity delegation. Among the participants in the delegation were federation chairmen and major donors from various parts of the United States.
The delegation split into groups with each one visiting communities suffering from the missile strikes.
Dr John Ruskay Executive Vice President and CEO of the UJA Federation of New York with new immigrants from Ethiopia in the bomb shelter at the Jewish Agency for Israel`s Barnea Absorption Center in Ashkelon on Monday, Jan. 12th along with Jewish Agency staffers Ora Cohen (wearing red hat) and Liat Damoza.
The tour began at Jewish Agency absorption centers where they met immigrant children from Ethiopia and Jewish Agency employees, Ora Cohen and Liat Damoza, from the Resource Development Public Affairs Department.
They visited various sites in Ashkelon including the Barnea Absorption Center, the San Diego - IBIM Student Village and the home of the Buganim family that was damaged a few days earlier by a Kassam missile.
In Ashkelon, they saw the security vehicle that had been donated by the JFNA via the Jewish Agency and also met with Mayor Benny Vaknin, who told them how the Jewish Agency had enlisted to assist Ashkelon during the current war.
The delegation announced a $10 million pledge for emergency assistance to the towns and cities under attack in southern Israel.