As War in Israel Continues to Rage, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Approves $5 Million Emergency Grant

October 16, 2023

CHICAGO (October 16, 2023) – As Israel’s war with Hamas continues to intensify, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) announced Sunday the immediate release of 20 million shekels (more than $5 million) to be distributed to support those in need.

Since the war began, The Fellowship has been actively working with partner organizations, the IDF Homefront Command, local municipalities, hospitals, and others to identify immediate, specific needs, and to ensure that funds are properly distributed.

On Sunday, The Fellowship announced:

  • Security Support
    • The purchase of 1,000 bulletproof safety vests for use by security personnel
    • Transportation and installation of several dozen portable bomb shelters along the northern border and in the Galilee region
  • Emergency Needs Support
    • The transfer of $500,000 (with a matching commitment from the Israel Lottery Commission, for a total of $1 million) to communities on the Gaza border to address immediate critical needs such as food, medication, transportation, and therapy services
    • A grant of more than $375,000 to NETEL (Victims of Trauma from Terror Activities) to increase their support hotlines, which have seen a 6,000% jump in calls since the outbreak of the war
    • Mobilizing of The Fellowship’s Mobile Emergency Response Center, which provides an area for rescue and casualty identification teams and families to be able to rest and refresh, and be provided with food, drinks, snacks, access to electricity to charge phones, and other services
    • Positioning Fellowship mobile units throughout the country to distribute refreshments in areas with a high concentration of security and IDF forces 
    • More than $500,000 (about $1,250 per family) will be distributed to families of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel that were injured in combat
  • Evacuee Support
    • Distribution of 1,600 grants of about $1,250 each to families evacuated from the southern areas hardest-hit by the conflict
    • Distribution of 600 debit cards in the amount of $150 each to benefit families who have been evacuated from their homes
    • Moving children who had been evacuated to Ashkelon, Israel from the Ukraine to a safer location
    • Distribution of games and toys to families of children with special needs in Netivot
  • Food Distributions
    • Distribution of prepared meals in the southern town of Netivot by local welfare offices and the IDF Homefront Command
    • Distribution of food and prepared meals to soldiers serving on the northern border, in cooperation with the Beit Batya Soup Kitchen

“We are living through one of the worst tragedies ever to impact the state of Israel. We have witnessed a horrific attack on Israeli children, adults, the elderly – innocent people who were murdered and never had the chance to defend themselves,” said Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of The Fellowship.

“This attack has impacted every Israeli and has left countless people without a safe home to return to, and without access to basic supplies like food, medication, and clothing. Since the outbreak of the war, we have been working to respond in all ways possible. The Fellowship pledges to continue to respond to this emergency quickly and effectively, by offering our full support to people in need. We pray this horrific war will end soon, so we can focus on helping people rebuild their lives.”

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