The personal tragedy arising from the inhuman slaughter of innocents affects everyone and grows worse with every discovery – no one is spared here. The only difference is in degree.
JNF UK can already confirm that a staff member who lived in Kibbutz Nir Oz, just one of the many targeted communities is unaccounted for and assumed kidnapped into Gaza. Sagui Dekel-Chen courageously ventured from the safety of his shelter to try and protect his family and community from the infiltrating terrorists.
You will have seen the photo of Tamar Kedem also from Kibbutz Nir Oz, pictured with her husband Jonny and their beautiful daughters and son. All were viciously murdered. Tamar was the manager of the music school JNF UK established in Kibbutz Magen for young students – in a renovation project of an existing kibbutz building. Tamar was also due to run for the position of regional mayor in upcoming elections later this month.
For decades, JNF UK has focused its efforts in the Negev, including helping some of the vulnerable communities closest to the Gaza border. Here, people are under the constant threat of terror from Hamas rocket fire and JNF UK has worked tirelessly to build and strengthen these communities so the residents can have a better quality of life.
Kibbutz Sufa, on the southernmost border with Gaza was the subject of a wonderful JNF UK DIY renovation day earlier this year. Many energetic young volunteers came to renovate the external communal areas, only for them to be totally destroyed. We ran similar projects at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom and Moshav Netiv HaAsara, where we ran a DIY programme with the youth of the community to renovate a club specifically for them. Again, both of these vibrant communities have been wiped out.
Other targeted communities include Nahal Oz, where JNF UK established a leadership programme for students. The only relief we can express for now is that Hamas decided to launch its brutality during Succot which meant that thankfully most of the resident students were away at home with their families.
Yahini is a moshav where JNF UK renovated an after-school centre; it was targeted and destroyed.
Kibbutz Sufa Renovation Day – Summer 2023
How we are supporting Israel
JNF UK with our dedicated team on the ground, is working 24/7 with the organisations we partner with to provide all possible support to the people of Israel.
We are speaking with leaders from the communities along the Gaza border, which were attacked. Survivors from these communities have been evacuated with nothing but clothes on their backs and need urgent assistance. Thus far, we have transferred almost 200,000 NIS to 17 Kibbutzim and Moshavim, including all those mentioned above. The funds will cover their immediate needs, with many more request coming through.
Together with volunteers from leadership programmes we have distributed over 4,000 activity packs to children in the south, who are spending days in safety rooms and shelters. These kits include arts and crafts, games and toys.
The growing tensions on the Northern border led us to initiate Operation Ir Miklat (City of Refuge) together with one of our partner organisations, Osim Shchuna, to clear, clean and fix bomb shelters in apartment buildings, in Israel’s northern towns.
We are aiming to clear thousands of unusable bomb shelters by recruiting tens of thousands of volunteers in a very short time, so they can be used to protect the people living in the North from rocket attacks.
Over the past two days, dozens of shelters were fixed in Nof Hagalil, Nesher, Tzfat, Nahariya, Haifa, with many more planned for the days ahead. In parallel JNF UK continues to support the same programme in the south where thousands of bomb shelters have already been restored, saving countless lives. You can donate to Operation Ir Miklat here.
With the growing tensions on the Northern border, this project is of utmost and critical urgency and continuing financial support for all our immediate projects is crucial and will make a significant difference to Israeli lives now.
As JNF UK is working tirelessly to assist with Israel’s immediate needs, we hope to turn our attention very soon to rebuilding the Negev, just as we have for many decades. With the help of British Jewry and the strength and resilience of the people of Israel, we will succeed in rebuilding what has been destroyed and see the Negev flourish again.
Support JNF UK and by donating anything you can today.