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Southern Israel Crisis Update

The war in Gaza may be over for now, but assistance for southern Israel residents, including trauma relief is still urgent. With close to a million Israelis within Hamas terrorist rocket range, anxiety remains high. United Jewish Appeal, through UIA Federations Canada (UIAFC) is taking a leadership role to ensure that aid is made available to those who have been besieged by relentless rocket attacks in Southern Israel. But we can’t do it without you. We urge you to participate in this critical initiative by contributing to the Southern Israel Relief Fund. (For more information about where funds from the Southern Israel Relief Fund will be directed to, click here)

Update from UIA Canada office in Israel

Posted by: jotto
January 20, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Since the beginning of the war and particularly after the rallies across Canada which included a live broadcast between Toronto and Be’ersheva , which was webcast to eight communities http://events.onlinebroadcasting.com/uiafc/010809/index.php.


I have received  hundreds of calls from friends and colleagues. All of them wanted to know how we were coping, and  they wanted to get a sense of  what the people of Israel have been experiencing during these difficult times, both at the front lines and at home.

In the last week I both visited daily the attacked Southern communities and was also called as an IDF reserve officer.

I would like to share with you a few short scenes I witnessed which took place over this week:

- Upon arrival at Saroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva I saw a young soldier and his mother holding hands and hugging each other.  The son had arrived at the hospital earlier in the day with mild injuries. The mother could not let go of her embarrassed son, as they were viewed by everyone entering the hospital.  “In what other country in the world is a mother relieved to hear her son is in the hospital? At least here, they are out of there, out of hell,” said one observer.

- This past Wednesday, Jerusalem experienced a false alarm.  When returning home from school that day, my two older boys, Daniel & Guy told me all about their experience—they told me of the fear, the chaos and how over 400 children in their school ran, staying close to the walls, into the shelter and counted to 15, when the siren sounded, as there were taught in drills.

- Over the past few weeks, children in schools all over the country have been preparing gift packages for the soldiers on the front lines.  This is a way for the children to express their love and concern for the soldiers. Almost every child in school has a family member serving in the IDF, to some degree.   Every household is concerned and discusses the issues in one way or another. This is a way for the children too, to be involved.  Last Friday, when my son Guy came home from Shabbat dinner at his grandparents, he found a voice message waiting for him.  The message was from a soldier who had received his package, calling to thank him and to let him know how much his package made a difference to him.  You couldn't take the smile off that 6 year-old’s face!  He knew he had made a difference.


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