by Seth Lipner
Special To The Jewish Week
The initial news reports were staggering. Hadassah, and many other Jewish charities, had invested with the arch-thief Bernard Madoff. Whatever they put in, whatever they thought they had, it was all gone in the biggest fraud in history.
by Stewart Ain
As a reporter stands at the entrance of the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon awaiting the arrival of a medical helicopter, air raid sirens begin to wail and people begin running.
“We may be facing another rocket attack,” she says just as a rocket, black smoke gushing from its tail, slams with a thud into the roof of the hospital behind her.
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.
In fundraising for Israelife, a network of volunteers that provides lifesaving medical services in Israel, Eli Beer has recently tapped into a pool of Israeli donors.
“I just had a meeting with someone in Israel who gave us a large donation,” Beer reported last week. “There have been hard times for many years, and they still don’t have the capability to give what people overseas can give. But more and more Israelis are learning about philanthropy in Israel.”
Within a month after the Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon, North American Jews pledged nearly $300 million — and sent nearly $100 million — to Jewish federations to help Israel shoulder the costs of the conflict, which caused losses in the billions of dollars due to property damage, the loss of tourism and lost income.
In view of this outpouring of money, some Jewish organizations surveyed at random said they were concerned that their general fund-raising campaigns would suffer. Others said they were not concerned.
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