Atlanta’s community response to the Israel Emergency Campaign has been swift and impactful! Through campaign donations and grants made by Atlanta Jewish Foundation fundholders, Atlanta has raised more than $12 million to support urgent needs in Israel. Atlanta has already directed $53,000 to our partnership region, Yokneam/Megiddo which literally overnight became an emergency home for more than 1,500 evacuees from the south of Israel relocated for safety.
Rich Walter, Federation’s Chief Program & Grantmaking Officer, reports that many of the evacuees living in Yokneam came from Nahal Oz, a kibbutz right near the Gaza border that was brutally attacked on October 7. Eliad Eliyahu Ben Shushan, who directs our partnership activities in Yokneam and Megiddo, shared how meaningful Atlanta’s support was for these dislocated and traumatized families. “We had a Hanukkah party for Nahal Oz families at kibbutz Mishmar Ha-Emek in Megiddo. They really felt the warmth and support from Jewish communities across the ocean. Atlanta’s leadership groups crafted 200 artistic menorahs and Hanukkah kits with personal messages.” Watch this video of the kids saying “Thank you, Atlanta” in Hebrew.
Funds sent to Yokneam/Megiddo are working hard to improve living conditions for dislocated people and families in important ways, providing supplies for front line volunteers, first aid kits, meals for seniors, and the renovation of out-of-date shelters. The funds have also provided laptops for families whose kids are doing remote learning.
Atlanta has also sent $50,000 each to our global partners. The Israel ParaSport Center which helps thousands of people with physical disabilities become confident and succeed in life through competitive parasports such as basketball, tennis, swimming, and archery. Funds will be used to construct a safe room at the Center; rent alternative facilities to continue training and therapeutic services; sustain funding for competitive athletes; and extend additional social services to current families grappling with trauma and loss.
Yemin Orde Youth Village in northern Israel is home to 450 at-risk and immigrant youth from around the world providing therapy, academic tutoring, Hebrew language learning, and informal education and mentoring. Funds will be used for enhanced security at Yemin Orde, including portable shelters, drone surveillance; emergency financial assistance for graduates and their families; significantly increased mental health resources for youth, graduates, and staff; resources for partner schools in the south that have been devastated.