December 30, 2008 / 3 Tevet 5769
On the 21st of December, 2008, as the candles celebrating the first night of Hanukkah were being lit throughout the country, a missile crashed into Maya Ibar's Sderot apartment changing her life, and the lives of her three children forever. A single mother, Maya made aliyah to Israel from the Former Soviet Union in 1991.
"I still haven't absorbed what happened to me… I can't sleep at night, and my hand shakes." The missile ripped through Maya's apartment, leaving her without electricity in a shell of what was once her family's home.
One week after the missile fell, the Jewish Agency's Fund for Victims of Terror and its SOS Emergency Fund, created by United Jewish Communities' Israel Emergency Campaign (IEC) and Keren Hayesod, was ready to respond on-site. With rapid-fire response time the Fund steps in to supply up to $1000 in financial assistance for immediate repairs or compensation. Stepping in where government agencies fail, the Fund provided the financial and personal assistance that Maya so desperately needed.
As two Jewish Agency representatives arrived to speak with Maya, she described her life in the city to them; how she has not known a moment of silence over the last eight years. "Until the missile fell on my house I didn't pay attention to details like financial assistance; I did all I could for others. Now I'm in my home, everything open after the rocket fell. I need help."
Maya works in social services, providing assistance to Sderot's children. Until now she has not been the recipient, she has been the care giver. As Maya waits for the rebuilding to begin, she is forced to shower in her neighbor's apartments. "That's how we survive in Sderot. One helps another," she explained.
"I am thankful to the world that helped me, and I am thankful that I have been privileged to receive additional assistance from the Jewish Agency to ease our lives," Maya says.