Jewish federations send $5 million to help Israelis in conflict zone

(JTA) — The Jewish Federations of North America committed $5 million for an Israeli terrorism relief fund to help Israeli victims of the conflict with Hamas in Israel’s south.

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The money from the federation umbrella organization will go toward trauma counseling, financial assistance, portable bomb shelters and the transport of children in the conflict zone out of harm’s way. The organization has set up a texting system to donate to the Fund for the Victims of Terror in Israel (text ISRAEL to 51818) and said that 100 percent of the money raised will go toward aid. The group is also working with its partner agenies in Israel, including the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Israel Trauma Coalition and World ORT to assist Israelis in the line of fire.

The $5 million includes $1 million from Chicago’s Jewish United Fund; Chicagoans who want to donate can contribute at

“Once again, innocent civilians are the intended targets of terrorists bent on the destruction of Israel,” JUF President Steven Nasatir said in a statement. “And once again, as we have so often in the past, Chicago’s Jewish community is responding immediately to meet the many needs created by these attacks and to show the tremendous bond we have with our brethren.”

The announcements come as fighting between Israel and Hamas has intensified with Israel’s lauch of Operation Pillar of Defense, meant to bring quell the rocket fire onto southern Israel and deal a significant blow to Hamas’ rocket capabilities in the Gaza Strip.

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