The crisis in Israel has resulted in lives lost, injuries and catastrophic damage to property. The constant threat has left Israelis traumatized, including children and those newly arrived in the country hoping to make it their home. The Jewish Federations of North America is responding to the growing need through outreach to local Federations for support. The Board of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee approved an emergency distribution from its Discretionary Fund of $5,000 as its fair share of the $1.3million JFNA has determined to be the overall need. The funds will support JFNA, the Joint Distribution Committee and the Israeli Trauma Coalition. All of these agencies are focused on helping Israelis and others living in Israel cope by providing psychological services, and cash relief to those who have lost homes in this crisis.
The allocation of the funds from Nashville’s Jewish Federation was voted on by the Board of Trustees. Steven Hirsch, President of the Board, says the decision was immediate. “As soon as the reports of the rocket attacks on Israel started to come in, we began hearing from donors asking how they could help. At the same time we were contemplating a local emergency donation, we heard from JFNA that a coordinated grant of $1.3 million was being organized. Our Board quickly approved a contribution from our Nashville Federation in support of this effort.” In addition to providing direct services, the funds are a strong showing of solidarity from Jews in America. Steve Hirsch says, “These funds were designated to provide immediate relief to Israelis who have been directly affected by the rocket attacks. When Israel is targeted and world opinion is directed against them for defending themselves, it is vital that they hear from their Federation friends with the message that they have our unconditional support.”