Spielberg gives $1m. to help North

Steven Spielberg is giving $1 million for relief efforts in Israel, with the initial $250,000 going to a special crisis fund set up by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Additional gifts are earmarked for the New Israel Fund and various relief organizations in Israel, Marvin Levy, the filmmaker's chief spokesman, announced this week. The Los Angeles Jewish Federation's fund has topped $10m. in contributions and pledges within three weeks, and has raised its goal to $15m., federation president John Fishel said. Spielberg's contribution is being donated through his Righteous Persons Foundation, which is funded entirely from his earnings, estimated at some $40m., from his Academy Award-winning Schindler's List. Fishel said the crisis fund was focusing on the suffering caused by Hizbullah rocket attacks on northern Israel, particularly that of children, senior citizens and the disabled. Spielberg's gift will be used to retrofit Haifa's three hospitals with shatterproof glass and for emergency assistance to the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya. The donation to the New Israel Fund will help communities in the North through by paying for crisis hotlines, economic assistance and food distribution.