Jewish Agency updates Governors after fires

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The Jewish Agency for Israel today issued a “Special Update to the Board of Governors: Israel on Fire” which they have shared with JR Online.
by ANT KATZ | Nov 29, 2016
JA is prepared! 

"Over the last five days,” says the agency to its Governors, “dozens of fires broke out throughout Israel. We are happy to report that firefighters have gained control of most of the blazes.”

Known in Hebrew as the Sochnut, the Jewish Agency for Israel, or, simply the Jewish Agency (JA) as it has become known, operates under the name “The Israel Centre” in Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa and has recently opened a Project TEN South Africa.

Read these stories of JR Online: 

Assistance for homeless families

JA Fire“We would like to update you about Jewish Agency activities vis-à-vis the victims of the fires who were left homeless,” read the special report.

RIGHT: The Jewish Agency doesn't only help Diaspora and immigrant Jewry. In Israel when there is a disaster, everyone becomes involved

“After co-ordinating with the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod,” continued the special report, “we will be distributing special grants immediately to families who have lost their homes due to the fires.”

There are an estimated 700 families who have lost everything when their homes burned to the ground. The Sochnut is also issuing an emergency a grant of $1 000 to each family - $700 000 in all.

“At this point it is important to mention JUF Federation of Metropolitan Chicago who have already advanced $500 000 to JFNA in connection with the emergency situation in Israel brought about by the fires,” reported management to the Governors. 


When a nursing home in Haifa caught fire, the JA’s Amigour stepped up to provide shelter to nearly 30 elderly residents, who were evacuated from their facility to the newly-expanded Amigour building in Kiryat Yam.

“The fact that we are two months ahead of schedule on that construction was especially fortuitous,” they reported. The local authorities gave the JA permission to open the new floors ahead of schedule to provide temporary solutions for these “elderly individuals whose long-term care facility was on fire,” they said.

“We salute Amigour staff for their hard and dedicated work throughout the last few days in helping these individuals feel safe.”

The Amigour facility directs rehabilitation for war damages to properties on behalf of the Israeli government. It is prepared, at the request of the state, to manage the repair and, in some cases, renovation, of those facilities that are determined to have been damaged as the result of arson.

Hanita Absorption Centre

As the fire spread in Haifa, explained the JA management, “our staff deployed a special team to evacuate our Absorption Centre in the Neve Sha’anan neighbourhood.”

JAFI logoThe JA team then visited each apartment and guided the olim (immigrants – the JA is responsible for their absorption) in preparing for temporary relocation. They also prepared apartments in Kiryat Yam for them and buses for their orderly and safe transfer.

“Luckily,” the Governors were told, “firefighters were able to stop the flames on the ridge in front of the absorption centre,” so the evacuation they had planned for was averted.

“Throughout the country, our professional staff have reviewed fire safety guidelines at absorption centers, ulpanim, and other Jewish Agency facilities,” they said. The management promised to continue updating the Governors, and, their report concluded, “hope for quiet and rainy days ahead.”


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