|Israel Resource Review
||16th August, 2006
Safed Emergency Fund
Date: Wed, 16 August 2006 17:50:54 +0200
From: Noah Greenberg
Reply-To: Noah Greenberg
Subject: Safed Emergency Food Fund -- OUR war is NOT over!
21 Menachem Av
August 15, 2006
As the military situation here seems to become calmer; if, G-d willing, the
rockets stop falling on our communities, WE CANNOT ALLOW OURSELVES TO FALL
INTO COMPLACENCY. Even if the war is over, it will take many weeks for
people to gather up the shards of their lives and return to normal.
Refugees will soon begin returning home to find their homes and lives in
shambles. Working people will have been in bomb shelters for 5 weeks with
no wages. Businesses have been paralyzed. How will these people feed
their families? Perhaps, ultimately they will receive some compensation
from the government - but that could take months. What will they eat
tomorrow? Next week?
Please do not live under the illusion that everybody is now OK -- just
because drama of war is off the front pages of the newspapers. People are
NOT ok. Their lives are in chaos; they continue to need our help - even
more than before! Please continue to be generous!
As you are reading in the news, Safed - and the entire north of Israel - has been continually bombarded by Hezbollah rockets. My own home in Safed has been bracketed by rocket hits. And close! A person was killed by a rocket perhaps 75 meters from my home. The children swept up shrapnel outside our front door.
In the municipal "war room" - a bomb shelter across from city hall -- sit
the operators for 106 - the telephone emergency hot line to the city: "our
bomb shelter is flooding with sewage," "we've run out of diapers," "the old
lady next door hasn't gotten food for three days". An endless litany of
crises that the city is desperately trying to address - not to mention the
actual missile damage, the firefighting and the medical emergencies. On
Friday, very shortly before Shabbes, I got yet another emergency call from
the officer in charge of the Home Front Command (Pikud Ha'Oref): a divorced
women was there with a gaggle of children; her house had just been destroyed -- and she didn't have what to eat for Shabbes (not to mention a few other things!!). Thank G-d we were able to send her food for Shabbes right away, and vouchers to buy more on Sunday. Of course that isn't going to solve her problem -- FAR from it; but at least her children won't be hungry TODAY.
But this is not time for anecdotes or stories of miracles.
Safed has a population of about 32,000. About 10-12,000 people remain here
now. The municipality has been distributing about 4000 meals a day. What
is everybody else eating?
At the behest of the Mayor of Safed and in conjunction the army's "Home
Front Command" (Pikud HaOref), Yeshiva of Safed is addressing the primary
need of remaining residents of Safed: FOOD.
As of Tuesday, Yeshiva of Safed is distributing vouchers for people to buy
food. Each family will get 300 shekels (about $70). Depending on the
generosity of our brothers and friends abroad, we hope to reach all of those in need here in Safed (and in this emergency situation that means almost everybody). G-d willing, we will be able to do that on a regular basis until the crises is over.
To date, we have commitments for about $60-70,000; which is enough to
distribute about 900 vouchers. The mayor (etc.) estimates that there are
about 2000+ families remaining here in Safed today.
Our voucher distribution operates as follows:
* All distribution is being supervised by HaRav Mordechai Dov Kaplan
who is the Rav of the Old City of Safed - and the sixth generation of the
family chain of rabbanim holding that position.
* All distribution is being done in conjunction with the mayor, the
welfare department, and the Home Front Command (Pikud Ha'Oref)
* NONE of the money we collect and distribute will go into the hands
of any of those organizations. All of the money will go directly to the
people in need (or suppliers)
* The current emergency is a leveling "experience." EVERYBODY here
is in need. Even a person that would normally have means is now needy - the
economy is at a standstill, nobody has worked for a month; people are
paralyzed by fear, stress, actual danger. This is not time to be checking
* The vouchers will be distributed to the entire community -
religious, non-religious, old, young, Sefardi, Ashkenazi. All will all be
addressed the same - as much as is humanly possible.
* No cash will be distributed -- only vouchers to buy from the
* Each purchaser will be required to identify himself with his
identity number and sign for the voucher. The store owners will be
reimbursed only on presentation of the used vouchers with a cash register
* Each voucher clearly states that it is NOT valid for cigarettes or
Of course the situation is not static. We must be prepared to change our
strategy as the situation develops. For example, in addition to the
problems for those remaining in Safed, refugees from Safed (and other
northern communities) are in serious distress. Families fled their homes
with no money, no place to go, no resources. They have been displaced from
one refuge to another - staying as long as they can; leaving as they "wear
out there welcome" or use up there finances. These refugees are in serious
need; we need to help them too. Many are just now beginning to come home -
to personal and financial chaos. They needed to pay for being refugees, now they need to pay to be home. Many have come home to find that their houses are not as they left them: the bomb damage is endemic. Everybody has come home to empty refrigerators and pantries. Everybody has come home to empty bank accounts - nobody has worked for more than a month! All this costs money!
US tax deductible donations can be sent to Mateh Aharon which is the
fund-raising arm of the Yeshiva of Safed. It is "hosted" my father z"l's
shul in California. The money goes into a dedicated account at the shul.
Within a few days, this account should also be able to receive contributions by credit card.
The mailing address is:
c/o Congregation Beth Israel
1630 Bancroft Way,
Berkeley CA 94703
The following is the information for tax deductible bank transfers
Congregation Beth Israel
Account number: 1480020142
Union Bank of California
2333 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA 94704
Attached is the documentation attesting to the 501(c)3 status of
Congregation Beth Israel.
Thank you and kol tuv,
Bezalel Editions Limited
Rechov Tet Zayin 62
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IRAN WARNS OF MISSILE STRIKE ON ISRAEL
Middle East News Line
NICOSIA [MENL] -- Iran has renewed its threat to launch missile strikes
A leading cleric in the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said
Teheran would strike Israel in case of a U.S. attack on Iran. The cleric
said Iran was capable of striking any part of the Jewish state.
"If they [the United States and Israel] want to carry out an aggression
against Iran, they should be afraid of the day that our 2,000-kilometer
range missile will hit the heart of Tel Aviv," Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said
Over the last two years, Iran has developed the enhanced Shihab-3
intermediate-range missile. The missile, with a range of 2,000 kilometers,
was said to be capable of accommodating a nuclear warhead.
It was the first time in months that Iran wielded its missile threat
against Israel. The statement came as Iran claimed responsibility for
helping Hizbullah fire nearly 4,000 rockets into Israel in the 33-day war
that ended on August 14.
"The 70-kilometer-range Hizbullah missiles turned Israeli cities into
ghost cities," Khatami, a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, told Iranian television. "[U.S. President George] Bush and [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud]Olmert should learn their lesson and understand that playing with Islam is like messing with the lion's tail."
Iran was said to have supplied Hizbullah with a range of
surface-to-surface rockets, anti-tank missiles and other systems in the war with Israel. Iranian officials have expressed satisfaction with Hizbullah's performance.
"I congratulate Hizbullah for its victory, which was the victory of
Islam," Khatami said. "This was a disgraceful defeat for America and the
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