Jan. 3, 2011
Thank you again for supporting ARZA's Carmel Fire Israel Emergency Fund. We have raised more than $155,000 thanks to your generosity! We have begun allocating funds for specific programs on the ground, and we wanted to update you on where your money will be going.
Our partner in Israel is the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). They run a program called Keren B'Kavod, which provides emergency assistance in disasters like the Carmel Fire. Through Keren B'Kavod, the IMPJ distributed food and supplies to evacuated families and rescue workers during the days of the fire. We will be replenishing their emergency funds, and providing money to restock their emergency supplies, so they are able to respond to future disasters as quickly and efficiently as they did to this one.
IMPJ will continue distribution efforts with the help of local welfare authorities to ensure displaced families have what they need. Direct aid will be provided to 70 families who lost their homes and property in the fire. Relief money will also provide scholarships to the Havaya Camps for children from the Carmel area and those whose parents were relief workers. Havaya is a part of Noar Telem, the IMPJ's Youth Movement, and the camps offer the opportunity for children to have fun and learn about Progressive Judaism in a community of their peers.
On top of the IMPJ programs, ARZA is working with the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief to set up a free loan society. The society would provide loans to families with immediate needs who are not able to wait until their insurance money is awarded. Additional funds will be released when future needs are more clear.
You can read more about the approved programs here. We will continue to update you on the situation as it develops. Thank you for helping us help Israel. Your gift helps the IMPJ be prepared for future disasters, and has allowed the people affected by the fire to start to put their lives back together. Clearly the fire was a disaster, but your gift made a difference in the lives of people there. Thank you.
Rabbi Daniel Allen
Executive Director, ARZA