The horrific photos and videos of butchered and kidnapped civilian children, grandparents and entire families by the Hamas terrorists who invaded Israel’s Gaza border on Oct. 7 are too much to bear.
So is the suffering of survivors – on both sides – traumatized by the loss of family members, homes and businesses. Especially the children.
Here’s where to help – support humanitarian aid in Israel and Gaza.
We’ve rounded up top humanitarian aid organizations and their specific needs.
You should always do your own research before donating to any organization.
- My go-to resource for checking the legitimacy of any non-profit is charitynavigator.org.
- Beware of Mideast peace charity scams
US-Based Humanitarian Organizations
American Friends of MagenDavid Adom has launched an emergency ambulance fund to support Israeli EMTs.
AJC has launched a letter-writing campaign to send an email of support to individuals and families in Isrrel.
JDC has launched an emergency fund to provide the following support services:
- Expand mental health interventions for children and youth at risk.
- Strengthen the capacity of nursing homes welcoming elderly Israelis who have fled from the conflict zone.
- Provide emergency support for people with disabilities, including access to a hotline with social workers and psychologists
- Support small businesses and entrepreneurs in southern Israel so they can remain open and financially stable during this uncertain time
- Support social workers and healthcare professionals with critical data on vulnerable populations at this time
- Train front-line professionals to meet the unprecedented needs among the most vulnerable children and families, the elderly, and people with disabilities
The Jewish National Fund has issued a matching gift fund up to $1 million, via an anonymous donor. Funds will be used to –
- Evacuate residents from border villages in the line of fire
- Provide evacuees with necessary supplies such as bedding, toiletries, clothing, etc.
- Provide firefighting and protective equipment for civil defense – the first responders to community emergencies – including radios, bulletproof vests, helmets, and tactical clothing.
- Provide high-quality psychological treatment and respite activities for civilians, including children, traumatized by terror.
- Go from home to home in the cities of Sderot, Ofakim, and Arad to help the elderly, the infirmed, and the needy with food and medicine
- Help rebuild communities devastated by the attacks and keep the spirits and hopes of the people who live there strong.
- Care for the children whose parents are on duty in the IDF, including at the Ovda Airforce Base in the Negev so the parents can continue their vital work protecting the homeland.
Kibbutzim Brutally Attacked
Kibbutz Nir Oz faced an unprecedented nightmare when Hamas gunmen stormed the community and perpetrated a horrifying massacre. Families fought against the invaders in a desperate struggle for their lives, with no weapons but sheer determination. Many were killed or kidnapped to Gaza. One young family – including two six-year-old girls, a four-year-old boy, their parents and grandmother – was murdered while hiding in their fortified room. The survivors, their homes and vehicles reduced to ashes, are uncertain of when they can return.
Kibbutz Kfar Azza endured an assault that shocked the world with its brutality. “Mothers, fathers, babies, young families killed in their beds, in the [bomb shelter], in the dining room, in their garden,” said Israeli Maj. Gen. Itai Veruv of the devastation. Some, he added, were beheaded. Your donation will be used to help locate the missing and kidnapped, and support families through their physical and emotional recovery.
Kibbutz Holit was ravaged during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, with homes turned to rubble and farms and factories severely damaged. “Everything was destroyed and full of blood; they took us from house to house with shooting all around, as they burned the houses and the cars,” recalled one resident who was captured and taken to Gaza with two young kids, before escaping. Yet the survivors are determined to rebuild their community. Your donation will help aid those orphaned and wounded during the massacre, restore homes and livelihoods, and honor the memory of those lost.
Kibbutz Reim was invaded by dozens of Hamas terrorists, causing devastating loss and suffering among civilians, including women, children, and seniors. For hours, residents had to fend for themselves, fighting for their lives. Some were killed, others kidnapped. The survivors were evacuated, leaving behind homes and livelihoods that have been shattered beyond recognition. Your donation will help them begin to recover from the trauma and reconstruct the kibbutz from the ground up.
Netiv HaAsara, once a vibrant agricultural community of 1,000 people, turned into a place of unimaginable tragedy on Saturday. Families huddled together, enduring hours of horror as their homes came under attack. Those who went out to fight the invading terrorists were killed. Lives were lost and livelihoods left in ruins. Your support will help them begin to heal, rebuild, and regain a sense of security.
Kibbutz Sufa endured a relentless attack by dozens of Hamas terrorists. Residents were locked in their safe rooms, enduring hours of helplessness and fear, hearing gunshots and screams outside. While waiting for help, members of the kibbutz guard fought the gunmen, one of whom carried an ISIS flag. Several kibbutz members died in the assault. Your support will help survivors rebuild their homes, heal their spirits, and restore their livelihoods.
Israel-Based Humanitarian Organizations
These recommendations are via the JTA, the Israel-based news organization Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Israeli hospitals have been dealing with a surge of wounded patients and some have been damaged by rockets or in fighting. Many depend on donations even in normal conditions, making the need more acute now.
Barzilai Hospital in the south sustained rocket fire while serving patients and was inundated with more than 450 victims.
Hadassah hospital is treating victims of the attacks, including many soldiers, and launched a crisis campaign to raise needed funds.
Soroka Medical Center treated 700 severely wounded victims immediately after the attack and seeking donations for its emergency fund to purchase essential medical equipment.
American Friends of Magen David Adom, Israel’s version of the Red Cross, has been providing emergency aid and information since early on; one of its drivers was killed responding to the attack.
- Bloomberg is now matching donations.
United Hatzalah is an ambulance service. It has more than 1,500 volunteers serving near Gaza right now. At least one volunteer with the group was killed in Saturday’s fighting, it said.
ZAKA has special expertise in retrieving bodies from disaster scenes; the group announced on Sunday that it had retrieved 250 bodies from the scene of the festival that was attacked early in the onslaught.
Lev Echad–One Heart organizes a network of volunteers during national emergencies. It says it has deployed 30,000 volunteers but needs help to get 100,000 to work.
Shinua Chevrati: Operation Delivering Light is mobilizing to help deliver material goods to Israelis forced to flee their homes in partnership with BIG, the largest retail conglomerate in Israel.
The Jewish federations system operates local federations in hundreds of communities across North America, soliciting and distributing donations based on the needs and interests of their constituents. From Los Angeles to Indianapolis to New York (which has allocated $10 million to the aid effort), many have announced special funds in the wake of the attack.
The Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella organization, is also collecting funds to support victims in Israel.
The Giving Back Fund is making funds available to purchase plane tickets for Israelis abroad who want or need to return to serve in the army. But other Israelis abroad are on their own if they want to fly home — and with flights canceled and demand high, prices have skyrocketed.
Some organizations and informal efforts are working to make sure that Israeli soldiers have what they need to stay safe during what they’ve been told could be a prolonged campaign.
While the Israel Defense Forces say it has adequate supplies, families sent off their soldiers and reservists with little advanced warning and, in some cases, concerns about whether the army is prepared to take care of them.
Bayit Brigade is raising emergency funds for lone soldiers, a term used to describe immigrants and volunteers mostly from abroad who enlist without a familial support network in the country.
Friends of the IDF is a non-military organization that supports soldiers, veterans and their family members.
Latet is aiding the security forces on the front line with emergency aid kits containing food and hygiene products.Mental health resources are also much-needed at this time.Helplines are getting an unprecedented number of calls from people mentally and emotionally affected by the war.
NATAL: Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center — NATAL is an apolitical crisis help organization that has been around since 1998 and helps those affected by trauma from war and terrorism.
ERAN — ERAN is Israel’s mental health crisis hotline. Founded in 1971, it provides “emotional first aid” to anyone who needs it.
One Family Fund is offering emergency grief and trauma counseling to all victims and survivors. Their employees and volunteers are visiting the injured in hospitals, cooking food for victims in areas of attack, and attending funerals before supporting the families of victims.
Bayit Cham has established a fund to provide free therapy for 1,000 children from the Gaza border area.
Humanitarian Aid for Gaza
Egypt has opened a small humanitarian corridor for supplies, but will not accept Palestinian refuges.
Many of the same humanitarian groups which have provided material and humanitarian relief for the victims of recent earthquakes in Morocco, Turkey and Syria, are ready to support survivors in Gaza.
You can donate now to support them.
Doctors Without Borders provides medical care to the needy around the world, and is on the ground now in several war-torn countries, including Ukraine.
Oxfam is a European-based charity that assists victims of war and natural disasters around the world.
ActionAid and its partners have been working in the Middle East for over 20 years through programs that focus on protecting the rights of the most vulnerable people, in particular women, young people, and migrants.
UNICEF, the international United Nations organization supporting children around the world.
Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund is a locally-based humanitarian group. providing food, water and medical supplies.
- PCRF is not listed with my go-to charity reporting site, Charity Navigator.com, which rates charities for the effective use of their donations and avoidance of fraud.
- Since it is not listed, make your own decision about whether it is worthy of your donation.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA), a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and a current member of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. (NATJA).
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter