Dollars from the Tidewater Supports Israel Emergency Fund assist victims of terror

Thanks to our generous community, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater (UJFT) has raised almost $4.8 million since October 7 to support humanitarian, emergency, and wartime needs through the UJFT’s Tidewater Supports Israel Emergency Fund. The second largest recipient of allocable dollars is Tidewater’s longtime overseas partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).

JAFI’s impact since October 7th includes direct relief, services to vulnerable populations, physical rebuilding, and security around the world. As part of direct relief, Tidewater has designated emergency dollars to the Victims of Terror Fund.

For more than 20 years, this Fund has been the first responder for individuals and families who have been impacted by acts of terror and violence. In 2022, the Fund worked with 1,000 families. Since October 7, the Fund has provided 8,425 grants. With the scale of the terror attacks and the emerging needs so unprecedented, the Fund has hired additional staff to expand services to help as many people as possible.

In a recent impact report, JAFI provided these numbers:

Over the past two months

  • More than 7,400 cases of families, who are victims of terror, are currently in process, for which more than 7,000 immediate grants have been distributed to those who were injured in an attack, those with a family member who was killed or taken hostage, and those whose homes have been severely damaged or destroyed.
  • More than 6,000 calls have been received by JAFI’s emergency hotline, providing guidance and support to victims and their families.
  • 201 additional grants were distributed to families of the hostages.
  • 308 needs-based grants were distributed to those most vulnerable, including orphans, families in the welfare system, those who completely lost their homes, and elderly people without family.
  • Emergency relief grants totaling 20,000,000 ILS (Israeli shekles) were allocated to eight regional councils in the south and to 15 regional councils in the north.
  • A holiday camp was provided during Hanukkah vacation for about 80 children, aged 6-16.
  • The Fund sent holiday gifts to children who chose not to participate in the Hanukkah camp because of severe levels of anxiety, stress, and trauma.

Future needs

Israel remains in crisis, and families are grappling with unimaginable loss. Current and future priorities of the Fund for Victims of Terror include:

  • Distributing immediate grants of 4,000 ILS and long-term rehabilitation grants of up to 25,000 ILS to an estimated 10,000 victims.
  • Continuing to allocate needs-based grants to 3,500 of Israel’s most vulnerable people.
  • Operating camps for 800 children and enabling youth survivors to attend Jewish sleep-away summer camps around the world and in Israel.
  • Providing support and counseling services to high school graduates entering their military service.

JAFI estimates that to serve all these families, the Fund will require $110 million.

Clearly, as the needs to support the victims of terror continues, so does the need for additional funding. Donations to UJFT’s Tidewater Supports Israel Emergency Fund may be made at or by calling 757-965-6100.

Betty Ann Levin is United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s executive vice president/CEO. She may be reached at