December 2, 2010
Israel's Carmel fire: How you can help
These organizations are working to help rehabilitate Israel’s fire-damaged Carmel region:
Jewish National Fund:
JNF collected around $2 million during the fire, some of which went to immediate needs on the ground. Now it is focusing its efforts on Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green, a campaign focused on fire prevention efforts and rehabilitating the scorched 12,500 acres of forest — around 5 million trees.
Friends of Israel Firefighters
FIF, a partner of JNF, is focused on replenishing and improving Israel’s firefighting infrastructure, which was stretched thin even before the Carmel fire. In the last few years, FIF has donated nearly 100 mini-pumper fire trucks.
American Associates of the Haifa Foundation
Lynn Rabins, Haifa Foundation’s regional director for the Western states, says that the Haifa municipality urgently needs new firefighting equipment, an upgrading of its crisis management control system and funds to build a memorial promenade at Chof Hacarmel in Haifa.
Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles collected $200,000 for fire victims in the week after the blaze broke out. From that, $50,000 has already been distributed to the Israel Trauma Coalition and to Yemin Orde (see sidebar). Federation will continue to collect and allocate funds — 100 percent of donations goes directly to Israel — to meet the short- and long-term needs of fire victims, rehabilitate the environment and acquire resources to confront future disasters.
Israeli Leadership Council
The Israel Leadership Council, including many Israelis in Los Angeles who served in the army, have adopted as their cause taking care of the frontline heroes — the firefighters and police force. They sent care packages and handwritten letters while the fire raged, and now are focusing on helping those who lost their homes.
ORT, which runs educational and vocational programs in Israeli schools, organized activities for 500 children evacuated from Tirat Hacarmel’s psychiatric hospital, and made available to those students its Kadima Mada online curriculum for science. An emergency Chanukah Appeal for fire victims will allow ORT to continue to address needs on the ground.
American Jewish Committee
The American Jewish Committee made an initial donation of $100,000 to JNF to plant a forest of 10,000 trees in memory of the 42 people who died in the fire. The AJC has also reopened its Israel Emergency Assistance Fund for humanitarian and relief efforts.
New Israel Fund
The New Israel Fund is working with Jewish, Arab and Druze communities to meet communities’ immediate social and environmental needs, as well as long-term goals and continuing social justice efforts.