Restocking After War

Friday, October 6, 2006
Staff Writer
Several Israeli social service and humanitarian organizations that incurred additional expenses during the country’s month-long war in Lebanon this summer have recently started fundraising campaigns. Among them are: American Friends of Magen David Adom. Israel’s emergency medical service (www.afmda.org) raised $12 million in its Code Red Emergency Campaign, which began following the kidnapping in July of Cpl. Gilad Shalit. During the war, Magen David Adom ambulances and teams responded to nearly 1,500 medical events involving civilians and military personnel. “We were able to provide an unprecedented level of emergency relief to the men and women on the front lines saving lives,” said Daniel Allen, American Friends executive vice president. To prepare for future needs, Magen David Adom is stocking up on such supplies as helmets and flak jackets,Jewish Theological Seminary oxygen tanks and training equipment. The organization’s hotline is (866) 632-2763. Emek Medical Center. A 500-bed facility in Afula, near the Palestinian city of Jenin, the hospital came under fire from missiles fired from Lebanon, necessitating the evacuation of departments on the upper floors. A new steel-reinforced surgical complex is under construction, according to bomb shelter specifications, to keep operating theaters working during attacks. The center’s North American phone number is (646) 546-5970. Jewish National Fund. The 106-year-old reforestation agency has launched Operation Northern Renewal, a $400 million drive to rebuild and renew areas damaged in the recent fighting. The effort will plant trees, upgrade parks and recreation sites, and sponsor a housing loan program to encourage families to move to the north. For information, call (888) JNF-0099, or visit www.jnf.org. The Terror Victims Support Center. Or Meir & Bracha, a crisis center based in northern Jerusalem, expanded its extensive feeding program, which provides 400 food packages to the needy each week, as well as psychological and legal services. During the war in Lebanon the organization provided housing to hundreds of displaced families, distributed free meals, brought two truckloads of food to Kiryat Shemona, and arranged recreational outings. Or Meir’s Web site is www.terror-victims.org.il. Rambam Medical Center. The trauma unit of the hospital in Haifa treated nearly 800 wounded civilians and soldiers during the war, emergency helicopter flights landing on the building’s rooftop helipad. The hospital, like many sites in Haifa, came under attack from missiles from Lebanon. For information: (212) 850-0675. Meir Panim Relief Centers. The outreach and social services organization, which began as a soup kitchen in Jerusalem, provided food and other basic supplies to people stuck in bomb shelters in the north during the war. Volunteers at soup kitchens in Safed, Tiberias and other communities worked while Hezbollah missiles fell. In the aftermath of the war, Meir Panim is expanding its services in the Galilee. The organization can be reached at (877) 736-6283, or www.meirpanim.org.