JNF UK: A beacon of hope for Israel’s war-torn communities

For decades, JNF UK has been the only UK Israel charity devoted to developing the Negev and building and strengthening new and existing communities, helping them to grow and thrive.
When the atrocities of October 7 occurred, JNF UK quickly pivoted its support to helping the Gaza Envelope communities that were hardest hit. Over the years JNF UK has built strong relationships with these communities, so our team on the ground knew exactly where and how to direct our support. We provided emergency aid to residents of over 20 of the Kibbutzim that were destroyed. We were also in contact with other partner organisations who were supporting some of the most vulnerable members of society including children and holocaust survivors in the form of respite activities and food packages. We are also proud to have initiated and launched the Ir Miklat project whereby over 4,000 disused communal bomb shelters in apartment blocks up and down the country were renovated so that the residents had a safe place to seek refuge from imminent rocket fire.

As six months have now passed since October 7, emergency assistance is no longer required but the people of Israel still very much need our support and we have pledged our unwavering solidarity. Our focus now is on healing, rebuilding, and strengthening those impacted by the attacks.

Some of the most affected victims of October 7 are in desperate need of mental health services to aid in their recovery. These include Nova festival survivors, victims of sexual abuse and violence, and children who have been bereaved or orphaned. JNF UK is partnering with various organisations that are offering specialised mental health therapy and support for these victims who have suffered unimaginable trauma.

JNF UK is also offering continued assistance to displaced Gaza envelope communities. Since many of the communities cannot return to their homes, JNF UK is providing relocation assistance so the residents can adapt to their temporary locations until their kibbutzim are restored. We are also working to improve the lives of people who have returned to their homes to help them rebuild what was lost. Therapy is also being provided to promote both individual and community healing.

Recently, JNF UK has been running various DIY projects for communities that were attacked on October 7. One such project was for Shlomit, a village located about 6.5km from the Gaza border. The youth from the Village joined together to build furniture for a future outdoor cafe that they envision as a gathering place for unifying and strengthening their community, following the Hamas atrocities of October 7. The initiative gave these young people a feeling of ownership and control as they helped rebuild their community, which was attacked and which they were forced to evacuate for nearly five months.


DIY programme for the residents of Shlomit

Just as with the communities on the Gaza border, JNF UK has been supporting Israel’s Southern cities which have been under the constant threat of terror for decades. The residents of Ashkelon, the most targeted Israeli city have suffered unimaginably. To this end, JNF UK is supporting the Ashkelon Foundation which is providing rehabilitation programmes to the city’s schoolchildren who are experiencing high levels of anxiety and PTSD. Activities and workshops are being run, designed to help strengthen children’s emotional wellbeing and resilience.


Just as in the past, JNF UK is more committed than ever to its mission of rebuilding Israel’s peripheries and shaping a brighter future for the people of Israel. It will continue to support projects that help restore normalcy to the communities impacted by the conflict. JNF UK will look to rebuild and transform displaced communities so that they thrive, ensuring lasting solutions for education, mental health, and overall well-being. JNF UK stands by Israel’s side now and always.