Zichron Yaakov Emergency Fire Fund
Online Donations to the Emergency Fire Fund can be made in dollars via
North American Friends of Moed
a registered 501c3
Donations in nis
can be made to the
Emergency Fire Fund Moed
an Israeli non-profit with seif 46
The front pages of Israeli newspapers covered the wildfires -- photos of fires raging through neighborhoods, miraculous stories of people being saved from serious injury, mind-boggling reports of tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes with only minutes' notice. Less reported was the human tragedy of families that lost everything they owned in a matter of minutes, as flames gutted their homes.
Here in Zikhron Yaakov, one of the oldest towns in modern Israel, 40 were either completely destroyed or suffered significant damage. At the same time that these families are reeling emotionally, they must piece together their lives, the basics of living -- locating a new place to live, and replacing clothing, furniture, bedding, and appliances.
The security authorities have determined that the fires here were as a result of terror-related arson, and as such, private insurance companies are not responsible for covering the losses that their policy-holders have incurred. The responsibility is solely that of the government. However, government led effort not only means a lower cap of compensation but homeless families will have a long wait and the final amount they receive is not expected to fully compensating them for their losses.
These families need substantial help, and they need it now. Some of our local families have moved into temporary housing, others are still living with friends and family, and some are even living in their damaged homes, unable to assume the burden of relocating their family to a home with new expenses.
Each affected family's needs are unique. When it comes to helping them, one size does not fit all. Meet some of our families *:
A family with three sons currently serving in the IDF, has not left their home despite it being condemned due to the damages that it incurred. While they have had a series of meetings with different government offices, the immediate monies issued fall far short of their quickly mounting needs. The windows that were broken during the fire have been covered over with plastic that is insufficient as the winter is quickly setting in.
A family who moved to Israel from France six months ago with five children lost their home along with all of its contents. One child suffered burns during the evacuation. They are staying in a temporary rental unit that is within their budget, but have been told they must leave it within a week. They are in dire need of the stability of a home.
A family with a woman in a wheelchair has been moving from place to place over the last week, and are in need of a home with handicap accessibility. They have now found a unit with an appropriate entrance and doorway, but they need to refit the bathroom and kitchen to maintain the family's dignity and independence.
* Specific details of the families have been altered to preserve the families' privacy.
It should be pointed out that Israeli apartment rentals do not normally include furniture, heating units, or appliances, and the tremendous financial burden that these expenses represent is daunting and insurmountable for many.
Zikhron Yaakov's "Moed" organization has established a separate Zikhron Yaakov Emergency Fire Fund, which is being administered by social workers and financial professionals to help quickly assess and allocate resources with the goal of addressing the specific needs of each family. Our goal is to raise $150,000 very quickly, in order to provide for these families' urgent needs in real time. Please help without delay.