Next Israeli War Could Be Devastating

    At the Birmingham Jewish Federation, many things run through our minds simultaneously.

    Among them right now are finishing our 2017 fundraising campaign successfully, starting our 2018 fundraising campaign, bringing our Campaign for Jewish Community Security to a successful conclusion, and phasing in a new collaborative arrangement between the BJF and the Levite Jewish Community Center that will result in both agencies being guided by the same professional starting in August.
    In addition, we are also involved with our LJCC preparing for the forthcoming JCCA Maccabi Games which will be held in Birmingham July 30-August 4.
    It would be so easy, given how busy we are with these and other activities, to forget about our Jewish brothers and sisters abroad, especially those who live in vulnerable areas of Israel.
    As a Federation driven by the Jewish teaching that “All Jews Are Responsible For One Another,” their well-being also is constantly on our minds.

    This is why a recent story in the Jerusalem Post struck a chord; reminding us, among other things, of the important work we do helping to sustain Israeli cities and towns that are particularly vulnerable to rocket attacks from Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon.

    Reported the Jerusalem Post: “The next war will be pretty bloody for both sides. Israel will evacuate its population and I suggest the Lebanese do the same,” Lt.-Col. (res.) Sarit Zehavi said recently at a briefing in Metulla, Israel’s northernmost town at the border with Lebanon.

    The story also reported this ominous development:  “In addition to the threat posed by Hezbollah’s stockpile of more than 100,000 rockets, the Israel Defense Forces are now concerned about the very real possibility of ground attacks against Israeli communities.”

    Hopefully none of this will materialize but it’s necessary to be prepared. During recent wars in Israel’s north and south, triggered by rocket attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas, the Birmingham Jewish Federation ran special fundraising campaigns that raised an additional  $1,500,000 to provide emergency social services, temporary respite and longer term assistance for those living in the line of fire.

    In addition, our Federation funds Operation Lifeshield on an ongoing basis which is an organization that provides protective shelters not only for Israeli Jews but also for Israeli Christians and Muslims as well. Several Birmingham families also have donated additional money through the Federation to provide shelters as have a broad range of Christians.

    While it’s unnerving to think about the uncertainty facing these Israelis, it’s comforting to know that even with all that’s going on in Birmingham, our Federation never loses sight of their plight for a minute. And we never will.

    — Richard Friedman,
    BJF Executive Director


    ©2019 Birmingham Jewish Federation | The BJF is funded in part by the Birmingham Jewish Foundation and the United Way of Central Alabama. some text some text

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