Helping an Israeli Children’s Village Rebuild After Devastating Fires
In December, Israel experienced the worst fires in modern Israeli history, burning an estimated 9,900 acres, destroying five million trees, killing 44 people, and forcing the evacuation of thousands from several communities near the blaze. During that time, we learned that Yemin Orde – a village in northern Israel that houses, cares for and educates at-risk Jewish children, many of whom who don’t have any parents – was hit hard by the raging Carmel fires, and needed help. The more we learned, the more their story moved us.
Approximately 40 percent of the buildings in the village were damaged or destroyed. Homes of staff members (12 families, with 35 children) were burned to the ground, including the home of the high school principal, the village Rabbi, and a maintenance worker who was a former student and worked at the Village for 40 years. Fortunately, the fire didn’t destroy the synagogue. But the village’s water system was damaged, including sprinklers, water tower pump, and sewage lines. The village’s electrical system was severely damaged. Offices and public buildings destroyed or damaged include the outreach offices (computers, multimedia, electrical appliances and furniture needed); and the library (books, multimedia center, central air conditioner system, piano, computers, and furniture needed).
In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). In the New Testament, the Apostle James wrote, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
With these Scriptures in mind, The Joshua Fund eagerly agreed to help. In cooperation with several other Israeli organizations, we are providing funding to rebuild the educational resource center and buy supplies, including books, multimedia equipment, and classroom supplies. We are also helping renovate the homes of children who were affected by the fire by providing beds, desks, wardrobes, curtains, bath and bedroom fixtures, chairs, mirrors, and other items. We’ll keep you updated as the children’s village is restored. Please join us in praying that the work will go quickly and well and that both the children and the staff who run Yemin Orde will truly be blessed in the process.