While the fires that raged across northern Israel over the course of a week have now been contained, the cleanup work is just beginning. Blazes, many of them terrorist arson, damaged or destroyed more than 1,000 homes, in addition to schools, businesses, forests and parks, and displaced more than 100,000 people. Approximately 30,000 acres have been burned nationwide, with some 2,500 men and women worked around the clock to battle the flames.

Assessing items in homes where fire struck. The cleanup work is just beginning. (Photo: Chabad on Campus International)
Assessing items in homes where fire struck. The cleanup work is just beginning. (Photo: Chabad on Campus International)

To assist in the recovery, Chabad on Campus International has established the “Israel Under Fire Relief Fund” with the goal of transforming devastating flames into encouraging light.

Chabad on Campus emissaries in Israel, together with the students they serve on a daily basis, are assisting people affected by the fires with food distribution, sleeping arrangements for the displaced and even the rebuilding of damaged homes. In doing so, they also raise the morale of those impacted by the fires and the first responders themselves, and show Israelis that Jews—wherever they are in the world—are never alone.

“With only a few weeks until the holiday of Chanukah, we are reminded of how fire can be utilized to spread light,” says Rabbi Yossy Gordon, executive vice president of Chabad on Campus International. “For those seeking to do good, fire is an amazing tool for creating light, preparing food and providing warmth. Yet for those seeking to do harm, fire can be a terrifying method to burn, injure, destroy and destruct. Unfortunately, those who seek to harm our dear brothers and sisters in Israel have chosen this path.

“As the Talmud teaches: Kol Yisrael areivim zeh ba’zeh,” says Gordon. “All Jews are responsible for one another.”

To contribute to this effort, click here. Every dollar donated will be matched by a generous supporter.