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Jewish National Fund Provides Safe Haven for Children Under Attack in Israel

Contact: Sarit Schonbrun • JNF Director of Communications • 212.879.9305 x222 •

November 14, 2012 – New York, NY – In response to an escalation in rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel that has closed schools and brought life to a standstill, Jewish National Fund (JNF) is taking action to help the more than one million Israelis in cities and towns under attack.

Working with Sderot Mayor David Bouskila, JNF will keep its Sderot Indoor Recreation Center open 24 hours a day. The 21,000 square foot center doubles as a bomb shelter and can accommodate more than 1,800 people on a rotating basis. Sleeping arrangements are being made, teachers will be brought in while schools remain closed, extra activities for children will be provided by the Green Horizons youth group, and services for seniors are being offered.

“The indoor playground is a lifeline for us,” said Bouskila. “It gives the children a chance to be normal and has changed the way this city behaves and feels. It is the best thing that has happened to us.”

JNF is also offering support to Israeli firefighters, who have been on call 24 hours a day responding to rocket-ignited fires and rocket-related accidents. Donations are being used to purchase desperately needed firefighting equipment and send food to fire stations.

“At this time of emergency in the South and in Israel, we thank you for standing with us,” said Ashkelon Fire Chief Yigal Zohar. “For the past couple of days we have left our own families in order to protect the people of Israel. We will continue doing so as long as necessary to save and protect the citizens of Israel.”

For more information, visit or call 888-JNF-0099.

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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