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.

As you may already be aware, last week southern Israel found itself 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 this past week, over 180 rockets were fired in a single night. Two of those missiles came crashing through a home in Sderot.

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 none other than our very own Partnership2Gether region, Netivot & Sdot Negev. In these communities we know and love so well, up to 40 new blazes are fought daily on already-charred farmland; families dash between their homes and bomb shelters; and children are now traumatized by the sight of a balloon. Families, livelihoods and lives are at stake.

During such times of violence our Jewish Federation, in partnership with the 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.

Once again, we are now taking action to support the initial immediate needs of those in our partnership region. These needs include:

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

You can read more about our work in this recent Jewish Exponent article.

Our Jewish Federation is able to act so quickly thanks to the fact that we always here for all of our Jewish communities: Assessing their needs through our longstanding networks, analyzing the information quickly, and responding swiftly through our well-established channels. The Jewish Community Fund is the engine keeping all that machinery running, ensuring that we can always be exactly where we’re needed. To contribute to the Jewish Community Fund, click here: http://www.jewishphilly.org/donate.

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.