January 2, 2003
Crisis Funds Assist
Since Israel's current crisis began on Rosh Hashanah 2000, the public and private dislocations in Israeli life have been significant, including severe stresses on the social service and health networks, along with hardships caused to individuals by injuries, fear and the steep downturn in the Israeli economy. Children and the elderly have been particularly at risk.
A special fundraising campaign by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles -- separate from both the Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Partnership and the regular annual campaign -- sought to help underwrite Israel's crisis-related needs. The special Jews in Crisis campaign set a target of $12 million and raised $18 million.
The projects so far funded indicate the kind of unexpected civilian needs that the Palestinian intifada has generated. Among them are:
- A summer camp offering a safe environment for children from low-income homes.
- An emergency treatment system for Tel Aviv, including three walk-in trauma units.
- Mobile trauma units for settlements in the Jordan Valley, along with multidisciplinary training of trauma and health personnel.
- Training of principals and staff to deal with the crisis in schools, including psychologists to diagnose and treat trauma.
- Saving the Savers project, to provide counseling and support for those who identify bodies and notify families of deaths.
- Support funds for community centers and well-baby clinics.
- Pups for Peace (a project originated in Los Angeles by Glenn Yago) to train dogs and their handlers for Israel's K-9 Corps in locating explosives, weapons and disaster survivors.
- Funding for victims of terror through the One Family organization to cover needs not filled by the Israeli government.
- Training and support of the Zaka volunteers who retrieve body parts after terrorist attacks.
- Funding for Tzahala, which provides emergency medical services.
- An emergency trauma operating theater for Tel Aviv's Icholov Hospital.
- Funding for trauma hot lines operated by Natal.
- Training volunteers for counseling -- mainly of Russian immigrants -- by Sela.
- Funding to enable the overwhelmed pediatric psychiatric division of Hadassah Hospital to continue and expand treatment and follow-up.