Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

We've come too far to stay silent any longer

 

August 24, 2018



They say that silence is golden. Yet, now is a time that we cannot stay silent. For over four months, communities facing the Gaza border in Southern Israel have lived through a daily barrage of incendiary kites, balloons, and rockets. For these families, one night of silence would be welcome. Instead, they are woken up each night by the sound of sirens blaring as they gather their children and rush to bomb shelters. Children are afraid to take a shower in case a siren goes off. Farmers watch their livelihood burn as hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of crops meant to support their family are gone in an instant. This is what normal life is like for close to 30,000 people living in these communities.

These are people who moved here to farm the land before 1948 and others who were seeking refuge from Yemen and other Arab countries and brought in 1949 and 1950 to make a home in Southern Israel during Operation Magic Carpet. Among these communities are also families who moved during the disengagement from Gaza in 2005, who are not filled with anger, but instead they moved on to build new lives. They are filled with the passion to build the State of Israel, for the Jewish people everywhere. Modern day pioneers who see the Negev through the same eyes as David Ben-Gurion—the place that holds the future for Israel.

We cannot sit silently by while thousands of men, women, and children have their physical and mental wellbeing put in jeopardy.

At Jewish National Fund we are standing up and calling attention to what has not made it into the headlines. We are gathering our voices together to share the story of these families. From Aug. 19 through Aug. 30, Jewish National Fund is bringing a farmer, a mother, and a student to share firsthand accounts of what life is like. The true story. This caravan will travel to communities across the United States and together we can make a sound that is louder than the sirens. Join us, invite your friends and family, share these stories on social media, and reach out to your local representatives. Together we can make sure that what is happening is no longer silent.

Jewish National Fund-USA has also launched an emergency campaign to further relief efforts and support the communities affected by this terrorism. In addition to funding trauma resilience centers and the JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, we are also planning to add bomb shelters, paint 20 bomb shelters already in place to make them child-friendly, provide new fire trucks and firefighting wagons, purchase life-saving equipment, and fund special activities for children of the region.

Russell F. Robinson is CEO of Jewish National Fund.

 

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