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The Disabled Struggle to Evacuate during Wildfires in Israel

Cecilia Hoffman at her son's home. elderly woman in teal sweatshirt and glasses, white hair, holding food card and clothing card. Cecilia Hoffman (Photo: IFCJ)

Recent fires in Israel 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. Fortunately, no one died, but at least 600 homes and some 32,000 acres of natural woodlands were destroyed. The Fellowship contacted municipal leaders in many of the affected communities, offering assistance with food, clothing, sleeping bags, and other basic necessities.

Eighty-year-old Cecilia worried when her city informed her she needed to evacuate from her home to escape the wildfires spreading across Israel. Cecilia didn’t know how she would flee her home with her debilitating physical condition – and she felt trapped.

Cecilia lives in the Romema neighborhood in Haifa where many residents have been affected by the fires and forced to evacuate their homes. In the chaos of this natural disaster, Cecilia’s son worried for his mother’s safety. He knew he wouldn’t be able to reach her with his car because of the heavy traffic, so he ran three miles to carry her from her home before the flames spread to her apartment building.

After rescuing his mother, a neighbor offered to drive them to safety. And Cecilia stayed with her other son in Jerusalem, hoping to return home soon.

However, Cecilia’s home was completely destroyed in the fire. She feels devastated to lose her home, a huge loss after also grieving from the loss of her husband who died only eight months ago. 

Thankfully, The Fellowship provided Cecilia with food and clothing assistance to help her survive this difficult time. She feels very thankful that friends around the world care about her during such a time of loss and devastation, and The Fellowship continues to pray for those affected by the fires in Israel.

Tags: IFCJ

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Here you’ll find an array of useful information on accommodations, transportation, exchanging currency, Israel's climate and customs, and much more. So get the most out of your trip to Israel with the help of The Fellowship.

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About The Fellowship (IFCJ)

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

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