As the war continues, our community’s support for the people of Israel remains essential. Today, we wanted to update you on the emergency funds UJA has deployed to meet urgent needs in Israel—including new allocations we have made in recent days.
A few weeks ago, we were in Israel as part of a Canadian Jewish community mission to show our solidarity and better understand the situation on the ground. We saw firsthand the devastating scale of needs. Hundreds of thousands of evacuees are sheltering across the country. Many more are experiencing trauma, with virtually every family affected. And with the ongoing threat of terrorism, we’re supporting communities that continue to be under fire.
The devastating effects of the October 7th attacks will be felt for many years—and can only be addressed through a sustained recovery effort. The message we heard from our partners on the ground, including in front-line communities like Sderot, was clear: They need Toronto to be their partner every step of the way. As they plan the next stage of recovery, they are looking for ongoing support for community rehabilitation work that can only take place once the war concludes.
Every single dollar raised through our Emergency Appeal is earmarked for helping Israelis overcome this crisis. The first phase of our allocations was dedicated to meeting emergency needs. As the needs evolve, our focus will shift to meet the requests of our partners working to set up these communities for a successful recovery over the mid- and long-term.
Through our team on the ground, we are continuing to evaluate the situation, co-ordinate with our NGO partners, and ensure our dollars make the greatest impact. Keeping our community updated on these allocations is a foremost priority. For transparency, we have included at the bottom of this email the full list of UJA’s Israel emergency grants, comprising $23.525 million deployed so far.
While there’s much more work to be done, we’re grateful for the remarkable way our community has stepped up—as seen in the more than 12,000 donors who have generously given to the Emergency Appeal.
As we support the people of Israel, the resilience of our local Jewish community matters more than ever. Whether strengthening community security, mobilizing the community for mass rallies, or countless other UJA initiatives, the past two and a half months have brought unpredictable challenges on a daily basis and posed an extreme strain on our resources.
If you support our efforts to keep the community strong, we ask that you consider making a donation to UJA’s Annual Campaign. Every year, dollars raised through the Annual Campaign build our community’s resilience, well-being, and pride through countless programs—while also ensuring sustained support for recovery efforts in Israel in the months and years ahead. To receive a 2023 tax receipt, be sure to make your gift by December 31st.
Thank you for your support for Israel and our community. We wish for brighter days ahead for the Jewish people—and for a healthy and happy 2024 to us all.
Complete List of UJA’s Israel Emergency Grants
- Direct aid to victims of terrorism and traumatized communities. $4 million (via The Jewish Agency for Israel) to provide rapid payments to more than 2,000 families victimized by terror. In addition, $1.5 million (in partnership with the City of Sderot) will assist 1,000 vulnerable families who are traumatized in our devastated partner city.
- Humanitarian aid for Israelis sheltering across the country. $2.9 million (in partnership with the HESEG Alumni Association) to distribute necessities for the tens of thousands of Israelis who have been evacuated from Gaza border areas and are being housed in private homes or community facilities elsewhere. With many traumatized and having fled their homes with very little, having access to mattresses, bedding, housewares, and essential supplies will enable them to shelter with some comfort and normalcy.
- Trauma and emotional first aid. $2.75 million (via Sderot Resilience Center) to fund mental health professionals to provide emergency support to devastated residents.
- Critical services for evacuees from Sderot and other Israeli communities near Gaza. $1.5 million (via The Jewish Agency) to provide a range of urgent services for those who have taken shelter in Israel’s southernmost regions far from Gaza. This includes mental health supports, schooling for children, medical services, and community and social programs for evacuees. With 60,000+ sheltering in host communities in the far south, the daily needs are far beyond the local capacity.
- NEW: Partnership with Sderot for long-term recovery. $1 million over three years (via The Jewish Agency) to create and fund initiatives to support the rehabilitation of Sderot. Through this effort, Toronto will play a key role in a global partnership between Diaspora communities and specific Israeli towns and villages devastated by the October 7th attacks.
- Emergency purchases of food, baby products, and medical equipment for evacuated Israelis. $250,000 (via Brothers and Sisters for Israel) and $500,000 (via Leket, Israel’s National Food Bank) to provide urgently needed food and essentials for evacuees from Gaza border communities now located in the Eilot/Eilat area.
- Protective equipment and emergency kits for first responders. $175,000 (in partnership with the City of Sderot) and $500,000 (via Magen David Adom) for trauma medical kits, as well as helmets and armour-plated vests to protect from rockets and other attacks, to be used by paramedics, social workers, and resilience staff.
- Evacuation of Israelis living with disabilities from communities near Gaza. $660,000 (via Shalva) to help with the relocation of 1,500 evacuees with special needs, providing essential supplies, medication, clothing, and physical and emotional care.
- Airlift of donated medical supplies and other essential goods. $630,000 (via UJA Federation) to airlift approximately 42 tons of basic medical supplies and essentials donated by our community through UJA Genesis’ emergency drive.
- Essential supplies for Israelis from the Gaza border area sheltering in host communities. $500,000 (in partnership with the Eilot Regional Council) to fund water, food, clothing, medicine, baby products, generators, and other needed supplies for those evacuated from the war zone.
- Equipment to aid in the recovery, identification, and burial of victims. $500,000 (via ZAKA) for protective gear, body bags, and rescue and recovery equipment for the process of ensuring those murdered in terror attacks can receive a proper burial. Since the Hamas attacks, ZAKA volunteers have recovered hundreds of bodies under horrific conditions.
- Life-saving emergency supplies for emergency medics. $500,000 (via United Hatzalah) for vital items, such as trauma first-aid kits, tourniquets, defibrillators, and protective gear. United Hatzalah is a volunteer emergency medical service, with many of their 6,500 medics across Israel serving as first responders and saving lives throughout the recent attacks.
- Assistance for elderly Israelis living in isolation under rocket fire. $500,000 (via the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) to provide community workers who locate and care for vulnerable seniors living within 20 km of Gaza. This ensures those who are isolated and lacking other sources of aid receive continual check-ins, emotional support, and access to essential services.
- Medical equipment for advanced, emergency treatment. $500,000 (via Sourasky Medical Center—Ichilov) to support treatment for wounded Israelis. As one of Israel’s most advanced hospitals, Ichilov receives patients who require complex surgeries—combined with trauma psychological care—and have been transferred from smaller hospitals in southern Israel.
- Trauma and psychological training for frontline workers. $500,000 (via the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) to equip social workers, teachers, caregivers, and medical staff to provide trauma relief and psychological support to those who are acutely at-risk.
- Assistance to vulnerable Holocaust survivors and other seniors in areas threatened by rocket fire. $445,000 (via Amigour) for aid workers to provide direct support to this uniquely at-risk population, including through food packages, check-ins from professional staff, respite programs, and psychological counselling.
- NEW: Supporting the needs of displaced residents. $400,000 (via United Israel Appeal—Canada in partnership with The Jewish Agency) for essential supplies and services for residents of Sderot and the Gaza border region who are now sheltering in Eilat/Eilot and Bat Yam. As the war continues, the needs of evacuees continue to grow. These funds will help evacuees access the full range of supports needed, such as educational and social programs, as well as mental health and employment services. It will also support the purchase of school supplies and laptops needed for school or work.
- NEW: Education for displaced teens. $400,000 (via Unistream) for the development of the Safe Haven Complex, which offers interactive stations with AI and science programming to engage youth from the Gaza border region currently sheltering elsewhere in the country.
- NEW: Rehabilitation for the injured. $400,000 (via Beit HaLochem) to provide services such as hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, therapeutic devices, specialized sports equipment, and programming for those wounded in acts of terrorism or recovering from wounds post-military discharge.
- NEW: Post-trauma support for victims of terror. $400,000 (via One Family Fund) to operate support groups for victims of terror, providing personalized therapy and daily psychological assistance for those who have experienced unimaginable trauma.
- NEW: Necessities for at-risk families. $324,000 (via Latet) to provide kits of food and other winter supplies for 4,000 vulnerable families affected by the war.
- NEW: Recovery planning for devastated Gaza border communities. $275,000 (via the Western Negev Cluster) to support mid- and long-term rehabilitation efforts, which are essential to enabling residents to return to these communities with confidence in their future.
- NEW: Financial aid for families of hostages. $250,000 (via the Hostages and Missing Families Forum) to provide 46 families of hostages with one month of financial aid, as many are currently unable to work and are fully focused on global advocacy efforts to secure the release of their loved ones.
- NEW: Transitional education for evacuated children. $216, 000 (via IsraAID) to operate a transitional learning centre for evacuated students from the Gaza border region, ensuring educational and psychological care for this highly vulnerable population.
- NEW: Food relief for vulnerable Israelis.$200,000 (via Jerusalem Food Rescue) to scale up its capacity to rescue surplus food from local vendors and distribute it to families struggling with food insecurity. This investment will enable Jerusalem Food Rescue to distribute, on a weekly basis, at least nine tons of produce that would otherwise be thrown out.
- NEW: Veteran-to-veteran support and recovery assistance. $200,000 (via Brothers for Life) to provide critical medical support to wounded Israelis who have been discharged from military service, including medical devices, PTSD counselling, and mentorship.
- NEW: Technology to assist resilience centres to cope with the massive growth in clients. $200,000 (via Hilma) to develop technology to allow clients to be automatically matched to services based on their unique needs. With the Eshkol Regional Council Resilience Center alone seeing an increase from 1,200 patients to 17,000 requests for help, this technology will be instrumental locally and nationally in ensuring those who need mental health first aid are able to access it quickly.
- NEW: Addictions and mental health support. $150,000 (via the Israel Centre of Addition) to provide mental health services for vulnerable Israelis—with a focus on PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and trauma—including a hotline and emergency psychological aid.
- NEW: Advocacy for the return of hostages. $150,000 (via the Raoul Wallenberg Centre in partnership with the Hostage and Missing Families Forum) to support the efforts of affected families to raise awareness about the hostages around the world.
- Emergency aid for young leaders who were based in the Gaza border communities of Kibbutz Sufa and Kibbutz Nir Oz. $150,000 (via Kedma) for trauma counselling, grants for urgent needs, and other essential supports for a cohort of young adults who were serving these communities, as part of the Kedma program, and have evacuated with virtually nothing. Like many Israeli villages along the Gaza border, Sufa and Nir Oz were targeted by Hamas terrorists for widespread massacre and destruction.