Amid rockets, IFCJ gives NIS 8m. to southern towns

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews gives contribution to emergency fund that equips rescue forces.

IFCJ HEAD Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein 370 (photo credit: IFCJ)
IFCJ HEAD Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein 370
(photo credit: IFCJ)
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews announced on Monday that it would donate NIS 8 million to strengthen communities around Gaza in light of the recent rocket attacks in the region.
The contribution, which will go into an emergency fund, is a continuation of an extensive NIS 30m. project which began in 2011 and includes a variety of protective actions, such as equipping rescue forces and communities in the South. The operation is now approaching completion.
The NIS 8m. will be divided into four areas of activity: NIS 2.5m. will go toward the renovation of 50 public shelters in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba and Netivot; NIS 1m. will go to the establishment of sheltered medical clinics in the Eshkol Region; NIS 3m. will fund equipment and training for dozens of emergency teams in southern towns; and the remaining NIS 2m. will be used to establish 28 emergency operation centers.
“Improving the personal safety of residents of the South is a top priority of the fellowship and its donors worldwide,” said fellowship president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.
“Over a million residents live in unacceptable conditions, where emergency has become part of the routine. This must be a top priority for every leader and citizen of Israel.”
He added that his organization worked in conjunction with the Home Front Command and the army “to do all that is needed of us.”
Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter also commented on the contribution, referring to the fellowship as “a prominent pioneer and leader for decades in every aspect of community service.”
Dichter said the organization’s contribution would “enable communities to be active, whether in the form of emergency teams or the provision of emergency services such as health clinics and fortified public shelters.
We must remember that local authorities are protecting the Home Front, and I applaud Rabbi Eckstein’s move, which will directly affect the million residents of the South.”
In a year and a half, the foundation has funded a series of projects to strengthen emergency systems, reaching a sum of NIS 22m. and including the renovation and establishment of public shelters, the construction of a trauma room at Hadassah University Hospital, and eight teams of volunteer firefighting communities bordering the Gaza Strip.