IFCJ Approves $5M in Emergency Humanitarian Aid for Distribution Throughout Israel Following Devastating Hamas Attacks
Israel’s largest provider of humanitarian aid prepares for influx of needs as Israel declares war on terrorist group
TORONTO (October, 2023) — In the hours following the massive and vicious attacks by Hamas terrorists on southern Israel in the early hours of Saturday morning October 7, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada (IFCJ Canada) began planning its humanitarian aid response efforts as the IDF carries out protective measures in the Gaza strip. More than 2,000 rockets were fired at Israel and hundreds of people were killed during the first day of conflict, with thousands more reported wounded and/or kidnapped. The attacks, which happened by land, air, and sea, took the country by surprise as they came during Shabbat (the Sabbath), and at the end of the Sukkot holiday—specifically, on the observance of Simchat Torah.
Yael Eckstein, President of IFCJ Canada, said, “This is Israel’s 9/11. We still don’t know everything that is going on or the extent, but we know it is unprecedented. This was a shock to all of us in Israel. It raises disturbing memories of the Yom Kippur War, which started on almost this exact date 50 years ago. “Right now, we are looking at what will happen in the north, as Hezbollah engages with artillery and rocket fire with Israel forces. How much this will escalate could magnify the crisis to an even greater degree.”
The global Fellowship has also set up an Emergency Response Center in Ramle, Israel where families looking to locate missing loved ones can meet to work with local authorities. The organization expects to begin receiving a large volume of requests for aid in the south in the coming days and has systems in place to quickly and efficiently respond to those requests. The organization will focus its efforts on assistance for evacuees in southern towns, assisting first responders and local volunteers throughout the region via food, water, blankets, medical kits and mental health/trauma support, as well as continuing to support the beneficiaries of IFCJ Canada programs.
Yael Eckstein added, “In less than 24 hours, our team on the ground conducted immediate assessments of incoming needs and are already distributing aid. We will look at what we can order (and then distribute) quickly within a week, and what needs we can identify that can be provided in coming months as a result of this war.”
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada (IFCJ Canada) was founded in 2003 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews and to build broad support for Israel. IFCJ Canada is a registered Canadian charity governed by an independent Board of Directors and led by President Yael Eckstein. For over 20 years, IFCJ Canada has worked alongside a network of Fellowship offices worldwide, including in the United States, Israel, and Korea. Today, The Fellowship is one of the largest providers of humanitarian aid in Israel and is a leading force helping Jews in need worldwide. For more information, visit www.ifcj.ca.