Chicago's Jewish United Fund has advanced $1 million to provide emergency assistance and humanitarian support to Israelis in the line of terrorist rockets launched from Gaza.
Since Saturday, nearly 300 rockets have rained down on southern Israel, destroying homes and businesses, closing schools and sending thousands into shelters.
In Kiryat Malachi, near a region that JUF maintains a special partnership relationship with, a Grad missile hit an apartment building, killing Aharon Smagda, a 40-year-old father of three; Yitzchak Amselam, 22; and Mirah Scharf Cohen, a 25-year-old pregnant mother of three. Dozens of others have been injured, including infants.
"Once again, innocent civilians are the intended targets of terrorists bent on the destruction of Israel," JUF President Steven B. Nasatir said. "And once again, as we have so often in the past, Chicago's Jewish community is responding immediately to meet the many needs created by these attacks and to show the tremendous bond we have with our brethren."
The funds JUF advanced to its partner agencies in Israel will help care for the severely disabled and frail elderly in the targeted areas, evacuate and provide meaningful activities for children, address trauma symptoms of the young and the old, rehabilitate the injured, and support the families of the dead.
JUF also has created an Israel Terror Relief Fund for Chicagoans who want to contribute to the effort. Contributions can be made at http://www.juf.org/relief_fund/itr.aspx or call (312) 444-2899.