Update: Shabbat Message from CEO

Dear Friends,
Today marks the 14th day since Hamas launched murderous attacks on Israel. We continue to mourn the tragic loss of life, and to pray for the injured, the traumatized, and the hostages. Our hearts have been lifted, in these hours before Shabbat, by the news that two hostages have been released.
Resilience seems built into the DNA of Israelis, who for 75 years have faced monumental challenges to their very existence. We are here, as the Orange County Jewish community, to bolster that resilience. One of the ways we can do that is by mobilizing our dollars to provide significant resources where they are most needed.
Our community’s response in these 14 days is the very definition of solidarity: Over 680 of us have given generously. The result is over $700,000, to date, raised for the Israel Emergency Campaign. The first distribution of funds is en route to Israel as I write.

Moreover, we are part of a national response by Jewish Federations that has raised over $390,000,000 for Israel. Because Federation was built for moments like this, we are unique in our ability to manage the assessment of needs and allocation of resources to ensure effectiveness. The Federation system’s long-standing, vetted partnerships enable us to deliver the funds, services, and supplies that bring immediate relief now, because those networks existed long before the crisis began.
When you give to the Israel Emergency Campaign you provide housing, food, trauma support and care, medical supplies and equipment, relocation transport, cash grants, and more. The people you help are the most vulnerable: bereaved families, the injured, seniors, children, people with disabilities, new immigrants, caregivers, first responders, and many others in crisis.
Your partners in Israel, who turn your generosity into action on the ground, are the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), World ORT, Barzilai Medical Center, Israel Trauma Coalition, Magen David Adom, Soroka Medical Center, United Hatzalah, and ZAKA, and smaller nonprofits in the most affected areas nearest to Gaza.
Please keep Israel in your heart this Shabbat. Am Yisrael Chai.
Shabbat Shalom,

 Erik Ludwig

Erik Ludwig, PhD
President & CEO

P.S. You can learn more about our partners in Israel, and the impact of your Israel Emergency Campaign dollars, here.