Israelis, welfare organizations rally to help in wake of fires

"If is moving to see, again, how when necessary Israel's parents and all citizens unite and mobilize for those who need help and a warm hug."

November 26, 2016 20:55
1 minute read.
Volunteers in Israel

Volunteers at the Leo Beck Community Center in Haifa bring water bottles to security forces and firefighters battling the fires.. (photo credit: LEO BECK COMMUNITY CENTER IN HAIFA/ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY CENTERS IN ISRAEL)


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As fires continued to rage on throughout the country, private citizens and welfare organizations offered their assistance to the hundreds of displaced families, firefighters and vulnerable population groups.

The Forum of Community Parents’ Committees announced Saturday night that every displaced family who had contacted the organization was provided with a place to stay.

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“It is moving to see, again, how when necessary, Israel’s parents and all citizens unite and mobilize for those who need help and a warm hug,” said Paz Cohen, chairman of the forum.

The Labor and Social Services Ministry established a hotline (118) on Thursday and called on anyone harmed by the fire or in need of immediate assistance or social services to contact the ministry.

In addition, the ministry, in collaboration with the Center for the Blind in Israel and Migdal Or (Lighthouse), a vocational rehabilitation center for the visually impaired, launched a hotline for people with visual impairments who were displaced from their homes or are in areas dangerously close to the fires. The hotline (*9366) offers callers with instructions, support and information about what to do in emergencies.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews also announced an emergency hotline (*9979) for the elderly and for new immigrants.

The hotline, active in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic, provided assigned volunteers to those in need.

In addition, the IFCJ provided vouchers to the elderly who evacuated their homes and put displaced people in touch with volunteers who could host them in their houses or offer transport.

Volunteers from the Leo Baeck Community Center in Haifa, part of the Israel Association of Community Centers, prepared care packages on Friday, including heating equipment and supplies for displaced residents. The volunteers also delivered bottles of drinking water to firefighters battling the blazes.

The Labor-Zionist Working and Studying Youth Movement, in collaboration with the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa, held activities over the weekend for children from neighborhoods that were evacuated due to the fire.

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