In a world where resilience is more than just a concept but a way of life, Yoni, the Executive Director of the Jewish Emergency Preparedness Project (JEPP), brings to light a personal testimony deeply rooted in the heart of a resilient community in Israel. His story is an emotional account of a community's strength, unity, and unwavering spirit during trying times.
Yoni, who lives in Israel, received a life-altering phone call on a seemingly quiet Saturday morning. The call marked the beginning of a period that would test the strength of his family and community. The call informed him that Hamas had launched an attack on Israel, and this event set in motion an intense and challenging series of events.
As a member of the Emergency Response Team in their town, Yoni's immediate instinct was to mobilize the team to assess the situation and ensure the safety of their community members. Little did he know that the events unfolding in the days to come would be beyond their wildest imaginations.
"Horrifyingly, hordes of terrorists emerged from the Gaza Strip, embarking on a vile and cruel killing spree of a scale never before seen in the State of Israel," Yoni recounts. "The stories coming from the Gaza envelope defy description, filled with atrocities, but also with accounts of incredible heroism exhibited by our soldiers and civilians who stood up to defend our beloved Israel and the Jewish people."
From that moment on, Israel transformed into a war zone, with thousands of missiles raining down, forcing everyone to seek shelter. In an instant, ordinary civilians became the Emergency Response Team, and their community became a fortress of resilience.
Yoni's community, situated just six miles from the West Bank, had to face a unique reality. They needed to protect their community while also providing a safe haven for families from the southern kibbutzim deeply affected by the ongoing conflict. They opened their doors to these families, offering not only shelter but also vital mental health support.
Over the past forty years, every Israeli community has diligently built and trained emergency response teams to handle various crises, including earthquakes, accidents, and missile attacks. Unity became their greatest strength. They ensured the safety of the elderly, provided activities for children in safe shelters, and rallied to provide fresh food to reserve troops in the early days of the war.
On the third day of the conflict, Yoni's community hosted over 50 families from the South, most of whom came from Kibbutz Gvaraam. These families had lost their homes and tragically, many of their friends and family. Yoni's community provided them with a safe space, mental health support, and moments of joy for their children.
"As the Executive Director of JEPP (Jewish Emergency Preparedness Project), I firmly believe that every community worldwide should have an emergency response team," Yoni emphasizes. "The ongoing conflict in Israel highlights the vital importance of building a resilient community."
Yoni now makes a personal request. While many organizations are collecting funds to support Israel, their Emergency Response Team on the ground is not receiving this support. The first emergency funds were donated by many members of the local community. Yoni asks for your support in their emergency campaign to provide crucial aid to affected families and the brave Emergency Response Teams.
Your financial support will enable them to fund daily essentials like food, clothing, and personal necessities for those displaced by the war. It will also provide the Emergency Response Team with the necessary tools to protect the communities effectively.
Now is the time to stand with the people of Israel and support the Emergency Response Team. They aim to raise $200,000 to meet these critical needs. Your support can make a significant difference in these challenging times.
Your donation through JEPP will support this effort 100%. Let's join hands and stand strong in the face of adversity, demonstrating the resilience and unity that define the Jewish community in Israel and around the world.
For donations via Credit Card, use this link: https://www.jepp365.org/ (the payment process is through PayPal, You do not need an account) To Send A Check: JEPP PO Box 242 Wynnewood, PA 19096 Shabbat Shalom!