Dear Partnership Family,
People’s true colors come out during trying times. In this case, they are beautiful and heartwarming colors.
But we’ll start from the beginning – no, these are not easy days in Israel. The south is being bombarded and now rockets are reaching as far as the Jerusalem Hills, Arad, Dimona and Hof Hacarmel. Thank goodness the Iron Dome is doing what not too long ago would have been considered imaginary miracles. The resiliency of the Israeli people of the south are once again being “tested” as are now the residents of the central region. Most regretfully, the Northern border is heating up. Not many places left to run to for peace and quiet….
But as we said, true colors are beautiful. Our friends and family in overseas partnership communities have been calling and sending an incessant and overwhelming number of emails expressing their worry, concern and love, and simply asking how they can help. These heartfelt words of care are up-lifting beyond words. They provide much needed energy. And then we awoke to the following: one of our P2G International Steering Committee members wants to help the partnership regions in the south. This concern now means that the P2G ISC has $50,000 to provide assistance to our Southern partnerships. And then (as if they coordinated) one of our Israeli ISC members raised (to date) 15,000 NIS to help soldiers in the southern region. Beautiful colors.
JFNA is initiating an Israel Emergency Campaign (IEC). So how can the P2G ISC monies be used most effectively? After consulting with our Partnership Directors in the South, thousands of young people remain in bomb shelters, and counsellors and volunteers need arts & crafts supplies and games to help make the long days pass by faster. This we can do quickly. AND, we will make all purchases from local businesses in the south to give them a much needed financial boost.
In the month of July, over 2,000 young people and adults are scheduled to take part in summer programs in their P2G regions in Israel. To date, we have been working hand-in-hand with the Jewish Agency’s Security Department to move some of the groups to alternative venues: For example, a group of Kefiyeda participants from Chicago has been moved to Eilat and a group from Montreal did not go to Beer Sheva but rather to Nitzana. A small number of groups have cancelled their arrival. It’s important for you to know that we work in full cooperation with Jewish Agency security to ensure the safety of all participants.
Working hand-in-hand with a phenomenal group of Jewish Agency colleagues, we are proud that our Partnership Directors have been at the forefront of maintaining daily contact with the mayors, relevant professionals in the local authorities, etc. to assess the situation, see where they and our volunteers can be of assistance, and to help prepare the ground work for the IEC. We are proud to see so many of our P2G volunteers simply “doing good”. We are proud that all of our Partnership Teams continue to implement their “usual” work during these most unusual days.
We thank you again for your expressions of caring and love. This support is so important for our collective morale. Beautiful colors.
We all look forward to more peaceful days – and soon.
Andrea Arbel Harold Gernsbacher Doron Lev
Director International Co-Chair P2G Co-Chair
Andrea Arbel, Director
Partnership Unit, The Jewish Agency for Israel
Office: 972-2-620-2685; Cell: 972-523-853-933
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