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Softening the blasts

What can I do to help?

It’s the natural response when a family member is facing a crisis.

And that’s what many Jews, locally and throughout the country, have been saying since rockets began falling on Tel Aviv two weeks ago.

So here’s the answer.

How you can help:

The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is collecting money to help Israelis as they cope with the recurring sirens and runs to bomb shelters.

The fundraising campaign is organized by the Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella organizations for Jewish federations. It launched the campaign two days after Israel launched Operation Protective Edge. While its name, “Stop the Sirens,” perhaps overpromises, its more realistic goals are to “alleviate the pain and suffering of our Israeli brothers and sisters” and soften the sirens’ impact.

Overall, the North American federations want to raise $10 million. The money will go to various agencies including the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Joint Distribution Committee, the Israel Trauma Center, World ORT, and the Reform and Conservative/Masorti movements in Israel.

“It’s focused on helping vulnerable communities,” said Rebecca Dinar of the Jewish Federations. “There are lots and lots of needs. There’s not one person in Israel who is not affected by the barage of rockets.”

Closest to Gaza, the money will help relocate children from the danger to summer camps in the north. People living with disabilities need special assistance to get to shelters in time. New immigrants in temporary housing need instruction in how to respond to alarms. People throughout the country need help in dealing with post traumatic stress disorder.

Of the $10 million goal, $200,000 has been assigned as the “fair share” for the northern New Jersey federation. By the beginning of the week, the federation had raised more than two-thirds of its goal.

““Larry Yudelson

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