American Jewish Leaders Plan Solidarity Trip to Israel

Presidents Conference Will Lend Symbolic Support

By JTA

Published July 11, 2014.
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The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is organizing a solidarity visit by U.S. Jewish leaders to Israel.

The delegation, which will arrive on Monday July 14, will meet government and military officials and tour areas susceptible to rocket fire by Hamas.

“We trust that our presence will be a source of strength and support as the people go into the second week of constant bombardment by hundreds of missiles targeting a civilian population,” the Conference said Friday in a statement.

Israel launched an offensive on Tuesday after an intensification of rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip. More than 100 Palestinians, including some civilians and children, have been killed in airstrikes.

American Jewish groups are also launching emergency fundraising campaigns to send Israel aid while the fighting with Hamas continues.

The Jewish Federations of North America is partnering with the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for a campaign called Stop the Sirens aimed at distributing safety equipment and emergency information, providing trauma counseling and respite opportunities. The funds will be sent over the next two weeks and in the immediate aftermath of the conflict, according to the Jewish Federations. The money will be distributed in conjunction with the federation’s overseas partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

The Orthodox Union has also issued a call for its Israel Emergency Fund to help offer respite and psychological services to children in the conflict zone. B’nai B’rith International also opened an Israel Emergency Fund.

The American Jewish Committee sent $50,000 to a hospital in Ashkelon, Barzilai Medical Center, for the purchase of an anesthesia machine for its emergency room.

Several American fundraising arms of Israeli organizations have issued calls for help, including Na’amat, an Israeli day care organization, and American Friends of Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency services, which asked for money for emergency medical supplies for ambulances and first responders, blood bags and supplies, and communications equipment.


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