>As the Fires Burn in Israel You Can Help

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At the end of the 20th century the only country or region that left the century covered by more trees rather than fewer trees was Israel. This was a direct result of the Jewish community’s commitment to the land of Israel and the Jewish National Fund’s efforts to plant as many trees as possible as the Jewish nation “deepened its roots” in the land of our ancestors. 
A significant portion of one of the great forests in Israel is on fire. The loss of life, property and trees is devastating and it only look like it will continue for some time. As such, I wanted to share these emails that just arrived. If you were wondering what you might do to help here is one answer.
My thanks in advance for your support…
Shabbat Shalom 
Rabbi Daniel Cohen

United Jewish Communities
Israel Fire Disaster Relief
Israel WildfiresUJC MetroWest expresses deep concern regarding the devastating fire in Israel’s Carmel countryside and is closely monitoring the situation. Our hearts go out to the families of the 42 Israelis who perished and those critically injured in the blaze.
As of this morning, the fire is not yet under control. Over 15,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and 16,000 acres of pine forest have been lost. Israel lacks sufficient flame retardant and is awaiting emergency shipments.
Israel WildfiresTogether with our international partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel and JDC, we are:
  • Assisting 15,000 evacuees with emergency shelter and support
  • Providing trauma relief for families who have lost loved ones and homes in the fire
  • Deploying local Emergency Response Teams
  • Working with Israeli youth movements to open day camps for children and students evacuated from the imperiled area
We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated as details become available. Additional information is available at the JFNA Fire Disaster Information page, which includes news stories and other resources.
Israel is desperate for our support. Please make an emergency online contribution to the UJC MetroWest Israel Fire Disaster Relief Fund today. Your contribution will go immediately to help Israel cope with this catastrophe.
Israel WildfiresOr send checks to:
Israel Fire Disaster Relief
UJC MetroWest
901 Rt. 10
Whippany, NJ 07981
Checks should be made payable to:
UJC MetroWest
Indicate in memo:
Israel Fire Disaster Relief
UJC footer

DATELINE: Friday, 5.00 PM (10.00 AM EST)

The fire in the Carmel Forest is still raging. Israel’s fire fighters would have been unable to limit its spread without the fire fighting planes and helicopters that have come to assist from Cyprus, Greece, Jordan and Turkey. (Israel, negligently, has none of her own.) Bulgaria has sent over 90 fire fighters, and offers of assistance have come from many countries, including Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. Chemicals to extinguish the fires from the air are belatedly being flown in today from France and Italy. However, the flames are still raging and is not anticipated that they will be fully doused until sometime next week. More than 15,000 Israelis have been evacuated from their homes, including from parts of Tirat Carmel, Ein Hod and the Haifa suburb of Denia. Kibbutz Beit Oren is in ruins. 

However, the greatest tragedy is that 41 prison guards and policemen were burned to death abroad a bus on its way to transfer prisoners from a facility threatened by the flames. A further three, including a fire fighter, have been serious burned and are fighting for their lives in Rambam hospital.

As darkness falls here, the helicopters and planes that have done so much to douse the flames today have been grounded until first light. That will leave much of the fire unattended overnight. However, at the same time, the strong easterly winds that we have experienced during the day and which have fanned the flames have also died down.

There is already a great deal of criticism of the fact that successive Israeli government had not built up a fire force and provided it with the necessary equipment to cope with an eventuality of this nature.

The latest news is that police have arrested two men from Daliat el Carmel, who they suspect may be part of a gang responsible for lighting the fires. However, at this point in time, this is no more than a suspicion.

Hanukah, a festival that is normally associated with the miracle of the flame that continued to burn for eight days, will henceforth also be remembered as the time when Israel faced the challenge of the greatest fire in her history.

Shabbat shalom v’Chag Urim sameyach,

Micky Boyden

Hod Hasharon, Israel

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Worst Fire in Israel's History

UPDATE:

The mood is not optimistic after more than 35 hours battling what is the worst fire in Israel’s history, reports Hezy Levi, a Haifa region fire fighter who is on the scene.
“We are working around the clock,” said Levi, “and are receiving help from Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Britain and Turkey, but we are short on supplies—firetrucks, hoses, extinguishing agents, airplanes, you name it.”
Levi reported that 2 firefighters have died in addition to the 41 prison guards, more than 25,000 people have been evacuated, residential homes have been lost and more than 7,000 acres of forests are on fire – about ½ of the Carmel Forest. Many people are being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
“We have deployed all of Israel’s firefighters, from Eilat all the way up, but right now there is no end in sight.”
They need your help. Israel’s firefighters are desperately short on supplies. JNF is the U.S. fundraising arm of Friends of Israel Firefighters. To donate to the relief effort, and arm the firefighters with the protective gear and equipment they need, go to www.jnf.org/fifdonate.

LAST CHANCE TO JOIN THE CONFERENCE CALL!

With Representatives from JNF, Israeli Firefighters, JNF-KKL, and Chief of the U.S. Forest Service
Jewish National Fund will be holding an emergency conference call today, Friday, December 3 at 12:00 PM EST for all of its donors and supporters.
The call will feature:
  • Ambassador Michael Oren
  • A firefighter from the scene
  • Ronald Lauder, JNF Chairman
  • Efi Stenzler, World Chairman KKL
  • Shimon Romach, Israel’s Fire Commissioner
  • Chief Tom Tidwell, Chief of the US Forest Service
RSVP Button 
RSVP to attend the call and your e-mail confirmation will contain the call-in information.

Donate Now Fire Button

To donate to the relief effort, and to arm the firefighters with the protective gear
and equipment they need, go to www.jnf.org/fifdonate.

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