Funds and facts – how you can help
Many South Africans want to know how they can help Israel. Here’s what the SA Jewish Report has found.
The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) has partnered with the Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror https://www.fundnation.org/sazf. The SAZF has also set up a hotline for repatriation efforts (081 880 email@example.com). National Chairperson Rowan Polovin said it was putting together a volunteer mission to Israel, the details of which have yet to be confirmed.
The Women’s International Zionist Organisation is collecting funds to assist vulnerable individuals. The money collected will go towards emergency supplies for vulnerable populations; critical supplies for bomb shelters; psychological support – crisis counselling, post-traumatic stress disorder services, grief counselling, and trauma management; additional staff at emergency centres and shelters; food and clothes for displaced families; and social workers to support students in crisis. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) South Africa along with its partners in Israel is helping to evacuate hundreds of Israeli children from the south to safety at the JNF field centre in the South Africa Forest in the Galilee. “At our environmental camp, we’ll be able to provide shelter, therapy, and respite from the violence. Stand with the people of Israel in their hour of need.” Sponsor a child by donating at https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/jnfsouthafrica. For information, contact 011 645 2579.
African Friends of Sheba Medical Center is a non-profit organisation based in Johannesburg, which supports the work of the medical centre in Tel HaShomer. The organisation is dedicated to raising awareness and support for its care, research, and training, allowing it to provide pioneering, life-saving treatments to patients in Israel and around the world.” Contact 082 907 email@example.com to make a donation.
Ex-South African Yakira Snoyman and her flatmate, Tania Hammer, have been compiling packages for soldiers which include items such as wet wipes; tissues; toilet paper; soap; deodorant; shampoo; toothbrushes and toothpaste; snack bars; sweets; chocolates; power banks; sanitary pads; and hairbrushes. They now have about 300 volunteers, and have packed more than 5 000 packages. Contact +972 53 892 firstname.lastname@example.org for banking details.
The Durban-Israel Victims of Terror Enterprises (Divote) represents the South African Jewish community to victims of terror and injured soldiers, showing them that it acknowledges their struggle and sends love. It is organising care packages for Israeli soldiers and is accepting monetary donations as well as items such as T-shirts, socks, underwear, and towels. Contact co-ordinator Cheryl Unterslak for more details: 083 799 email@example.com.
The Hetz Green Chabad Victims of Terror Fund is collecting items for those in need which will be transported by El Al free of charge. “We in the diaspora can really help,” said Chabad SA Director Rabbi David Masinter. “We can increase in prayer, learning of Torah, and acts of charity. The Torah assures us that these things help bring G-dly blessing and peace to the world.” The fund is collecting items such as sleeping bags; towels; gloves; toiletries; jerseys; and men’s and women’s undergarments. These items must be new, and can be dropped off at Chabad House, 27 Aintree Avenue, Savoy Estate. For more information, contact Stan Green 082 496 8595; Brett Hetz 082 552 0878; and David Masinter 082 370 1770.
Other international funds:
Donations to help the terror victims of Kibbutz Nir Oz: https://my.israelgives.org/en/fundme/kibbutzniroz
Round Up, an Israeli non-profit organisation supported by the Headstart Group, is raising funds for the residents of southern Israel and the defence and security forces: https://giveback.co.il/project/74665
Democracy HQ and all the member organisations of the protest movement are raising funds for protective gear for soldiers; accommodation in safe areas for families; transportation assistance from conflict areas; assistance from mental-health professionals; and assistance from those licensed to work in clinical laboratories/blood donations: https://beactive.co.il/project/73912
Alon Futterman, the former chief executive and director of Talma Israel and the United Israel Appeal-Keren Hayesod is raising funds for children in public shelters: https://gofund.me/1f9860e2
Manna, the United Kingdom branch of Meir Panim, is collecting money for food for soldiers: https://www.mannauk.org/news-1-1/israel-emergency-appeal
Emergency fund for animal rescue: https://networkforanimals.org/donation/israel-palestine-emergency-relief-october-2023/
United Hatzalah campaign for emergency equipment: https://israelrescue.org/donate/
An alternative way for South Africans to help is by using their voices and social media platforms to spread the word and counter misinformation.
“We can make people in all our environments – work, home, book clubs, soccer clubs – aware how traumatised we all feel by what has happened in Israel in past days,” said Professor Karen Milner, the national chairperson of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. “We need to explain the horror that has taken place and how every Jew in South Africa is affected, and we need to clarify that Hamas is a terror organisation intent on destroying Jewish lives and the Jewish state.”
“As a journalist, I’ve noticed that we aren’t getting the full picture unless we’re Jewish or spending time on a variety of news sites,” said journalist Rolene Marks. “The news needs to be challenged for its lack of reporting on what’s happening here. I’ve been on so many stations, TV and radio, and have had to correct, for example, the number of deaths. We have more than 1 200 people murdered and counting. We need people to be vigilant in the media. We need people to be vigilant on social media. We should donate to organisations that can help Israel. Reach out to your friends and family in Israel who don’t even know what hit [them]. We’re profoundly traumatised in Israel, and there are so many places to volunteer help.
“Forget your political affiliations,” she said. “Forget whether you’re religious or not. This is a catastrophe of epic humanitarian proportions. This was an act of barbarity that we can’t even contemplate, and it’s on the front page of every newspaper around the world except South Africa. It’s unfathomable. This isn’t about policies; this isn’t about occupation. This is a massive human tragedy. South Africans can help in many ways, including by donating to organisations, but what they also need to do is make sure that these stories are told.”