Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky, CJP President Shrage Distribute Aid to Haifa Families Whose Homes Were Damaged by Fires
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky and President of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Boston Barry Shrage today (Wednesday, November 30) visited Haifa and distributed aid funds to families whose homes were severely damaged in the recent wildfires.
Sharansky said: “In these trying times, the Jewish world is united in concern for those Israelis rendered homeless by the recent wildfires. The Jewish Agency is distributing immediate grants of $1,000 to each family unable to return home. Today alone, we distributed more than a hundred such grant checks in Haifa and across the country. Every family unable to return home will receive immediate financial assistance from world Jewry, thanks in large part to contributions from the Jewish communities of Chicago, Boston, and other places around the world.”
Shrage said: “Haifa was blessed to successfully evacuate 60,000 of the city’s residents without any deaths and only a small number of minor injuries in the midst of severe and expanding fire. The secret of this miracle is hundreds of dedicated intelligent, caring, and committed staff and volunteers, led by some of the very best professionals I've ever met. This network of professionals is tied together by Haifa’s Crisis Management System, developed and refined since the second Lebanon war and reflecting changes needed to address some of the management and coordination challenges that emerged during the war. The system ensures cooperation and communications among all the agencies involved, along with clear lines of authority and decision making. Haifa is a strong community characterized by mutual respect, cooperation, inclusion, and hope. Boston is blessed to be partnering with this community, and grateful for the cooperation of The Jewish Agency and the JDC.”
The Jewish Agency is distributing aid checks to hundreds of families across Israel whose homes were severely damaged by the recent wildfires and have thus been rendered uninhabitable. The grants of $1,000 per family are meant to help the families address immediate needs presented by the loss of their places of residence. They were made possible by special contributions from the Jewish Federations of North America, led by the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, as well from Keren Hayesod-UIA and other donors. Grantees are being identified via local municipalities and in coordination with the National Emergency Authority.
PHOTOS: Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Combined Jewish Philanthropies President Barry Shrage join Haifa resident Herzl Shahaf in surveying the damage to his home in the wake of the recent wildfires, November 30, 2016. Credit: David Shechter and Gidi Avinary.