New York, NY; November 22, 2012 – In a massive operation, The Jewish Agency for Israel today took 7,500 children from Israel’s South for a Day of Rest and Respite in the center of the country. This brings to 25,000 the number of children taken for rest and respite out of rocket range this week by the Jewish Agency.
Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto have covered the costs for The Jewish Agency’s respite activities. In total, Jewish federations have pledged some $5 million towards urgent needs associated with the current conflict—including emergency cash grants of approximately $1,000 that have been delivered to dozens of families whose homes or businesses have suffered damage from Hamas’s rockets.
Natan Sharansky, chairman of The Jewish Agency, said, “The assistance provided by the Jewish Federations of North America is a demonstration of the solidarity that Jews around the world feel with the residents of southern Israel. These Israelis have had to cope with an extremely difficult and painful reality on a daily basis.”
These respite activities have been organized in full coordination with the National Emergency Authority (NEA) and the local authorities.
The children visited a large range of entertainment venues, including the Biblical Zoo, the KifTzuba children’s amusement park, and the Ramat Gan Safari amongst many others.
Mayor David Buskila of Sderot said, “These respite trips organized by the Jewish Agency are life-altering for the participants. The organization has been highly professional.”
About The Jewish Agency for Israel
Investing in a vibrant Jewish future, The Jewish Agency for Israel continues to address the greatest challenges of our people in every generation. JAFI connects the global Jewish family, bringing Jews to Israel and Israel to Jews. It builds a better society in Israel and beyond, energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. At the same time, The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they live at-risk. More information can be obtained at www.jewishagency.org.