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JNF at Work Helping Israelis in Time of Need

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Despite Rocket Fire, Providing a Sense of Normalcy to Counter Attacks

New York, NY: July 9, 2014 -– In response to ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel’s southern, central and coastal cities, Jewish National Fund (JNF) is working with its partners across the nation there to help the several million Israelis under attack.

CEO Russell Robinson said,

All across Israel, from Sderot to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, we are providing the resources so that people can be safe and continue to enjoy a good quality of life. While these are not ideal times, I pray for the safety of the people of Israel and all who have the yearning for peace.”

JNF is actively supporting Israeli firefighters, who have been on duty 24 hours a day responding to rocket-ignited fires and rocket-related accidents across the country. Donations are needed to purchase much needed firefighting equipment and provisions for fire stations.

To encourage people to continue to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives, JNF’s heritage sites partner, the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites, is offering free admission to many of their sites in the north, including the Atlit Detention Camp, HaReut museum, Kineret Courtyard, Ayalon Institute, Mikveh, Sarona Visitor Center, and Yellin House, among others.

Noa Gefen, executive vice-chairman remarked,

We hope that people will come out to these great historical locations and use this time as a nice break from the situation that surrounds their homes.”

JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center
JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center

Since rockets first began to rain in southern Israel, JNF has kept its Sderot Indoor Recreation Center open 24 hours a day it was also used as a command center initially by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) following the destruction of a plastics factory, located a short distance away from the recreation center. The 21,000 square foot center doubles as a bomb shelter and can accommodate more than 1,800 people on a rotating basis.

Activities for young people are being provided by JNF partner Green Horizons, a youth leadership group. Green Horizons has arranged for hundreds of children from Be’er Sheva, and areas along the Gaza border to take hiking trips in the north, a region that continues to be calm and where kids can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere in the beautiful outdoors of the Galilee.

Aleh Negev, a rehabilitative village for young severely disabled adults, located in the southern region, recently experienced a rocket assault on its compound. Fortunately none were injured but activities are now taking place in secure rooms to protect residents there.

Alexander Muss High School in Israel, a JNF partner and a fully accredited study abroad program for international high school students, is continuing its academic itinerary with some adjustments to ensure student safety. Emergency drills have been performed in the event a siren sounds during classes. Officials there are closely monitoring the security situation and in frequent contact with parents.

About Boaz Meir

Colorado is my home since 2010. My family and I got here after serving in the Israeli army during the First Lebanon War, graduating from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and working as the West Coast Regional Director of the Jewish Agency for Israel. I am honored and privileged to be the JNF Mountain States Regional Director.

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