Business community joins efforts to aid fire evacuees

By RON FRIEDMAN
December 5, 2010 04:06

Israeli hotels, foodstuff manufacturers, amusement parks and banks rally to the assistance of victims displaced by fires.

3 minute read.



A Package from Home

IDF handing out packages . (photo credit: Courtesy)

In response to the Carmel fire and the widespread evacuations that it forced, Israel’s business community has enlisted to aid the families of the injured and deceased and make life easier for the hundreds evacuated from their homes in the Carmel.

A wide range of companies have offered free use of their products and services to the survivors and their families ranging form hotel accommodation to gallons of ice cream.

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One of the first industries to reach out and offer assistance was the hotel industry.

From the moment it became apparent that many villages would have to be evacuated, some of the countries largest hotel chains volunteered to host the evacuated residents.

The Club Hotel chain announced that it would provide 100 hotel rooms in the chain’s hotels in Tiberias and Eilat, and that together with the Tourism Ministry and the Haifa municipality, were coordinating room allocations.

The Dan hotel chain announced that it was opening its Dan Panorama hotel in Haifa to rescue services workers and that it was providing rooms in its Leonardo hotel in Haifa and its boutique hotel in Hatzor HaGlilit for evacuated families. Similar offers were advanced by the Rimonim hotel chain and the Golan and Galilee Tourism boards, who offered to host the evacuated families in cottages and rural accommodations in the region.

Several recreational facilities across the country offered free admission for people from the evacuated region. The Luna Grand amusement park in Haifa, the Balagan park in Kibbutz Yagur, Kibbutz Nir David’s Gan Guru and the National Safari in Ramat Gan, opened their doors for families who needed to relax and forget about the stress of leaving home for a few hours.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority also offered free admission and participation into all of its Hanukka activities for the Carmel evacuees.

The large supermarket chains have also come forward to donate goods to the rescue teams in the field and the evacuees.

Shufersal donated four trucks full of fresh produce, bottled water and assorted products to the rescue efforts and sent them to the command posts in the Carmel. It also offered a discount aid packages to residents of the evacuated villages in all of its stores in the Haifa region. Mega delivered supplies as well as Sufganiyot to the evacuated residents staying at the Tirat Hacarmel community center. Mahsanei Kimat Hinam is offering gift vouchers and free food to the evacuated residents at its stores in Atlit and Tirat Hacarmel.

Israel’s banks have also offered assistance to the evacuees, offering them interest-free rehabilitation loans ranging from NIS 10,000-60,000 and no-penalty delays on mortgages and loans.

Auto leasing company Eldan has announced that it is setting aside 1,000 vehicles for evacuees to use in the upcoming month, to help them with all the arrangements that they will need to restore their lives.

El Al airlines had earlier provided cargo aircraft to help import fire fighting equipment from abroad.

One plane recently returned from Marseille, France with 100 tons of anti-combustion chemicals and other equipment.


Foodstuff manufacturers, Tara, Tnuva, Osem, Tirat Zvi, Materna and Nestle all donated products to rescue workers in the North and the evacuee absorption centers.

As the days go on, more and more businesses are coming forth to assist those whose lives were affected by the fire. Efforts are also taking place online to organize aid-drives and volunteer services.


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