IFCJ Provides 11 New Bomb Shelters in Southern Israel
The Fellowship | June 3, 2020
JERUSALEM — The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is committed to protecting the Holy Land and – with the support of many Christian friends – preparing the Jewish people for any situation. Right now, The Fellowship is placing 11 new mobile bomb shelters in strategic locations throughout southern Israel that need additional protection.
While coronavirus lockdown measures have temporarily reduced terrorism and violence around the world, Israeli officials expect it to resume as the quarantine measures begin to ease. Israel is also opening back up in time for the summer, which has historically seen an increase in rockets and terrorist activity.
To help vulnerable communities in the south of Israel, The Fellowship, in cooperation with the Home Front Command, positioned eleven mobile shelters in the older neighborhoods of the City of Ashkelon. In most of these neighborhoods, there are no established shelters to protect the residents.
Two mobile shelters were set up in the Shimshon Gimel Commercial Center. Yuval, the owner of a small bakery there, publicly thanked The Fellowship for this new initiative. “I still remember the screams and tears of the children during the last red alert siren,” Yuval told us. “We are all here in an open area. We did not have any protection. Now we are protected.”
“The coronavirus period brought quiet, but all of those who deal with security knew very well that it was a temporary situation,” said Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of The Fellowship. “Terrorists do not stop their attempts to harm Israeli civilians for a minute. We at The Fellowship, together with Israel’s mayors, the Ministry of Defense, and the IDF are working constantly to protect and ensure the security of the residents. We must do everything we can so that Israelis can sleep securely at night.”
“I want to thank The Fellowship for setting up the mobile shelters in the Samson neighborhood, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Ashkelon, which has been coping with the lack of protection throughout the years,” said Tomer Glam, the Mayor of Ashkelon. “During a siren, the mobile shelters will provide a solution to people nearby. Still, we have a larger task and that is to protect the neighborhood itself so as to provide immediate shelter for the residents in the apartment buildings. It is encouraging to see that in a place where there are disparities, The Fellowship helps, contributes, and expresses a true interest in the residents of Ashkelon.”
The Fellowship is committed to securing Israel in real, concrete ways—including through literal concrete bomb shelters. With its decades of experience serving Israelis in need, its longstanding relationships with the Israeli government and other aid organizations, and its extensive network of volunteers, the organization is often the first to help on the ground in Israel in times of crisis.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) was founded in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews and build broad support for Israel. Today it is one of the leading forces helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide — and is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel. Founded by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $120 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised more than $1.8 billion for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul. For more information, visit www.ifcj.org.
Yael Eckstein is the President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. In this role, Eckstein oversees all ministry programs and serves as the organization’s international spokesperson. She can be heard on The Fellowship’s daily radio program airing on 1,500 stations worldwide. Before her present duties, Yael served as global executive vice president, senior vice president, and director of program development and ministry outreach. Based in Jerusalem, Yael is a published writer, leading international advocate for persecuted religious minorities, and a respected social services professional. As President and CEO of The Fellowship, she also holds the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of America’s largest religious not-for-profit organizations.