The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia strongly condemns hate speech in our community and throughout the world. When anti-Semitic hate speech was expressed by Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill, we immediately took action with national and local partners. We have and will continue to condemn comments that reject the state of Israel and the Jewish connection to our homeland.

All your questions for Naomi Adler answered! This week’s question:

Ask the CEO – There’s violence in the Negev. What are we doing to help Israel?

We’ve already sprung into action. A crisis in Israel is never an abstraction to us at the Jewish Federation, but this one hits even closer to home than usual, because the area under attack includes our very own Partnership2Gether region, Netivot & Sdot Negev. These communities we know and love so well are on fire. They fight up to 40 new blazes a day, and brace themselves for rocket attacks.

To recap, southern Israel has been under attack from across the Gaza border. For months, a steady stream of arson kites and balloons — about 100 flying firebombs per day — have set fire to thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and forests. At the same time, Gaza is firing rockets into Israel in alarming numbers: While a total of 35 rockets were fired over the border in 2017, during the first seven months of this year already 650 rockets have rained down on southern Israel — and then two weeks ago, over 180 rockets were fired in a single night.

During such times of violence our Jewish Federation, in partnership with Jewish Federations across North America, has reliably supported the Israeli people by funding needs that aren’t covered by the Israeli government or other NGOs. In the face of this current danger we have once again taken action to support the initial immediate needs of those in our partnership region, including:

  • Air conditioning units for bomb shelters
  • Trauma counseling subsidies for low-income families
  • Firefighting vans

You can find more information and background in this Jewish Exponent article. In case the situation in Israel escalates, you can rest assured our team is constantly monitoring the situation with our partnership region. These open channels of communication allow us to let you know if/when our help is needed again. Invariably we will be ready to act on behalf of our Israeli brothers and sisters. That’s what we’re here for, today and always.

Shabbat Shalom,

Naomi