Several JUF leaders are now in Israel as participants on the Campaign Directors mission, which takes place against the backdrop of Israel’s renewed conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
The trip provides an opportunity for leaders of JUF and other Jewish federations from North America to see the positive impact of their communities’ funding to programs and organizations in Israel.
Linda S. Fisher, JUF board member and Campaign Chair of JUF’s Women’s Division, spoke about her experiences.
Shortly after arriving in Israel, the group rushed to a bomb shelter as sirens went off warning of incoming rockets. The group had only 90 seconds to reach the nearest bomb shelter. The participants had been briefed about what to do in case of a siren and what the protocol is within the shelters.
“It’s just the reality,” Fisher said. The reality being that Israel’s streets, usually bustling with activity, and the beaches, packed with people, are now eerily empty. “It’s hard. It’s not the way life should be for anybody.”
Despite the increased danger, “Israel is still Israel,” Fisher said. “The Israelis and the people on the trip are wonderful.” Despite a few changes to the trip’s itinerary, members of the group haven’t voiced any desire to leave Israel.
“No one is complaining…It’s just a different kind of trip than it was intended to be,” Fisher said.