Israeli aid organization gives relief at Italian quake epicenter

The catastrophic earthquake that hit central Italy on Wednesday sparked an outpouring of goodwill from around the world, including Israel and the local Jewish community.

August 27, 2016 02:54
1 minute read.
IsraAID workers in Italy.

IsraAID workers in Italy.. (photo credit: ISRAAID)


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IsraAID, an Israeli relief organization, is hard at work giving vital assistance following the devastating earthquake that struck Italy on Wednesday.

Thanks to the support of the Ted Arison Family Foundation, IsraAid has dispatched a 20-member staff of search and rescue, relief and trauma specialists, and is currently the only foreign humanitarian non-profit, non-governmental aid organization on the ground. The team, wearing blue and orange, is working alongside their local Italian counterparts.

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The catastrophic earthquake that hit central Italy on Wednesday sparked an outpouring of goodwill from around the world, including Israel and the local Jewish community.

In Rome, Italy’s largest Jewish community began a blood drive and vowed to raise money to help the victims of the quake, according to Adam Smulevich from the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI).

“Our hearts are heavy with concern for our brothers in the area impacted by the earthquake,” Shalom Bahbout, chief rabbi of Venice, told The Jerusalem Post.

At least 281 people died and hundreds more remain missing.

Rescue workers were going through the rubble to find survivors in a series of towns and villages near Amatrice, around 150 kilometers northeast of Rome. There were multiple reports of voices of survivors coming from deep under the rubble, but because of the remoteness of the area, officials often lacked the heavy equipment to remove the biggest stones.


The quake and its aftershocks toppled ancient buildings and left homes in rubble.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent “condolences to the people of Italy” and offered search and rescue assistance to Italian Prime Minister Mateo Renzi.

JTA, Eric J. Lyman, and Reuters contributed to this report.

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