JRCC Israel Fund
Giving a hand to the Holy land

 

People living in Israel face no shortage of challenges – from war and terror to economic uncertainty and an overwhelming bureaucracy. Add to that the additional burden of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who have to deal with all the above challenges while also adjusting and integrating into a new life in a new land. But despite all of the difficulties, Jews from around the world choose to live in Israel in record numbers, eschewing the comforts we take for granted in Canada to live in their ancestral homeland.

In response to urgent needs in the Land of Israel, especially in times of escalating tensions and terrorism, the JRCC established its Israel Fund in 2002. Since then, JRCC donors have contributed to various causes in Israel, including victims of terror, support for new immigrants, and assistance to the needy.

“The purpose of the Israel Fund is two-fold,” explains Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zaltzman, the JRCC’s founder and senior rabbi. “Obviously, it is about helping to alleviate the difficulties and outright suffering faced by our brothers and sisters in Israel. At the same time, it is about expressing our community’s connection to Israel, sending a message to our children about how important this is to us, and solidifying the bond between Israel and the Diaspora.”

During difficult times such as these, the needs of Israeli citizens tcertificate.jpghat are met by the JRCC’s partners in Israel multiply. The JRCC has recently surveyed its partners in Chabad organizations in Israel to find out what the current needs are there. The message we kept receiving was that much is being done for those directly affected by the war and terrorism, but that the average family needs a boost in morale and practical assistance when it comes to celebrating life. Both due to the anxiety of living under the tension of war and terror and the financial fallout from these condition, which is exacerbated by the recent global economic downturn, Israelis are having a difficult time devoting their limited energy and financial resources to family and community celebrations – events which form the backbone of Jewish life. In North America, we take the ability to celebrate a birth, Bar Mitzvah or wedding for granted, as well as the ability to host or join a Purim feast, a Passover Seder or holiday services. But in many communities in Israel, people simply don’t have the morale and the means necessary. As such, the JRCC is currently focusing its Israel Fund on providing assistance to Israelis from the former Soviet Union for family life cycle events and community holiday programs.

To make a contribution, please visit www.jrcc.org/israelfund.