Crisis in Israel: JDC Response Update

As the violence in Israel extends into its third week, JDC continues to ensure the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable Israelis impacted by the escalating crisis.

JDC's network of programs for elderly, people with disabilities, and youth in Israel's South have activated their emergency phone chains and have been regularly checking in on those they serve, ensuring their safety, and meeting their needs as the emergency continues: 

Elderly/People with Disabilities

  • JDC's Centers for Young Adults have served as staging grounds for volunteers to package and deliver hot meals and other necessary supplies to elderly and people with disabilities rendered homebound by ongoing missile fire
  • Volunteers from JDC's network of Supportive Communities are making frequent checkups on vulnerable elderly and Israelis with disabilities in their coverage area, ensuring their needs are provided for
  • JDC has distributed hundreds of portable toilets to the frailest people with disabilities to keep in their safe rooms and shelters
  • Elderly Russian-speaking senior citizens in Israel received uplifting and heartening phone calls from Jews in Ukraine and Moldova mobilized through JDC's former Soviet Union-wide Hesed social welfare center network 

At-risk Children and Youth 

  • 500 JDC youth volunteers are providing activities to children who are in bomb shelters in Ashkelon, Sderot, and Netivot. As part of our Better Together program for families in low-income neighborhoods, JDC has supplied 1,000 activity kits for almost 20,000 children in the shelters: each kit serves approximately 20 children and are filled with arts & crafts supplies, board and card games, sports balls, building blocks, and other recreational materials.
  • JDC has distributed more than 300 Hibuki dolls — huggable plush dolls — as part of an intensive JDC post-trauma program being conducted for hundreds of children in the South
  • The Red Alert song that was developed by JDC in 2008 to address traumatic stress among children living under constant rocket fire in Sderot, is having a huge revival—with some 128,000 hits on YouTube. The song is part of a series of therapies that JDC developed and disseminated, to help children cope by expressing their fears and anxieties using hand and body movements.

All Vulnerable Communities

  • JFNA and the Federation system, through its generosity and ongoing support, has enabled JDC to deploy close to 100 new specialized emergency personnel and crisis experts, in addition to permanent staff, in dozens of locations
  • JDC Respite Relief programs for a range of vulnerable Israelis — at-risk families, children & youth, people with disabilities, needy elderly — include one- to three-day respite excursions out of heavily bombarded areas with special arrangements for accessible transportation.

The work that we do day-in and day-out to empower and integrate the most vulnerable Israelis, as well as our experience in responding to past emergency situations in Israel — during the Second Intifada, the Second Lebanon War, the Carmel Fires disaster, and Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense — position us to mobilize quickly and effectively to meet the needs of those enduring missile bombardment in Israel's South today.

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