At the end of November 2016, wildfires – some intentionally started – caused an estimated $520 million in property damages, injured hundreds of citizens, and caused tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes as flames were approaching. At least 600 homes and some 32,000 acres were destroyed.
Recently, Rabbi Eckstein visited Haifa, one of the hard-hit areas, and learned from the mayor that while insurance companies would cover private damages, there is no government reimbursement for the public parks decimated by the fire. Therefore, The Fellowship is giving money to renovate the HaPalmach Park in Haifa.
At a meeting with Rabbi Eckstien, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav said, “Thank you, Rabbi Eckstein and Fellowship donors. It's very encouraging to know that when our city is faced with such a catastrophic situation, we're not alone and your donors around the world are backing us up. It's very touching to know this. Thank you so much. You will see the outcome. We are going to cover Haifa in green. Now it's in covered black, but due to you it will be covered in green. Thank you.”
Haifa’s deputy mayor, Ido Shimshon, reiterated their gratitude: “The fact that The Fellowship came to the aid of the city so quickly is a wonderful thing. The Fellowship truly does good and gives hope. You do blessed work throughout the country. The city of Haifa is truly grateful for what The Fellowship does for its residents. Thank you.”