Israel’s most vulnerable need your help more than ever

The trauma from October 7 is widespread in Israel, beyond those who were directly impacted by the terrorist attacks


Imagine music therapy, supported by Myisrael (Myisrael)

I last wrote for The Schmooze a week after October 7, when everything was still incredibly raw, and the horror of those attacks felt impossible to comprehend. It was the immediate outpouring of love and support that Myisrael received, especially from the UK Jewish community, that helped keep my head above water, that made me feel like we were not alone.

But now, almost nine months on, that raw feeling still lingers far too near the surface. Many of us in Israel are trying to go about our normal lives, taking the kids to school and getting on with work…but everyone here knows someone who has experienced loss. And every time we hear of the loss of another brave IDF soldier, it reopens wounds that haven’t had time to heal.

For the vulnerable people supported by Myisrael’s causes, the past nine months have added extra layers of trauma to their existing struggles – adults and children who were already facing poverty, illness, unemployment, abuse, disability or homelessness.

Children such as 14-year-old Lior, whom I met during a recent visit to one of Myisrael’s causes. Lior struggles with a severe eating disorder but had come on leaps and bounds, thanks to the effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy. But the anxiety of constant rocket attacks in the aftermath of October 7 and fear for his brother fighting in Gaza have resulted in considerable setbacks to his progress.

And adults such as Dina, a young single mother with breast cancer, who is supported by Myisrael. After October 7, she was forced to evacuate her home in Kiryat Shmona in the north and move to a city where she knew no one and had no immediate access to medical treatment. These huge challenges have, understandably, had a significant impact on both her mental and physical health.

Meeting Lior and Dina reinforced why Myisrael’s work is more critical than ever. Because, as always, in times of adversity, those people without financial resources, strong support networks or mental and physical capacity are among the first to fall.

And while many small causes would have previously been well placed to support them, these charities are now finding it even harder to carry out their vital work because of the reallocation of grants. They are facing the potential closure of services that offer a lifeline to so many people – like an afterschool club where children living in poverty are kept safe  and receive their only hot meal of the day; and a domestic violence centre that provides a 24-hour emergency helpline and counselling for victims and their families.

These causes may be small in size, but they are mighty in impact, catching people who are falling through the cracks and empowering them to turn their lives around – and we cannot allow this to diminish.

Which is where charities such as Myisrael can play a pivotal role. In the immediate aftermath of October 7, donors were understandably desperate to help those directly affected by the attacks and ensure their money would have an immediate effect. But as time has gone on, many donors continue to donate with this purpose, without realising how widespread the trauma is for the whole country. So, while we continue to administer our emergency appeal funds, Myisrael remains dedicated to supporting those people who deserve brighter futures just as much as they did before.

We know there is a very long road ahead. But Myisrael will be there for the most vulnerable people in Israel, breaking negative cycles and transforming lives with the transparency and integrity we are known for.

With the unwavering support of the UK Jewish community, we will help Israel heal.

Myisrael is running its match-funding campaign runs from June 30 to July 1. For more information or to donate, click  here

Danni Franks is CEO of Myisrael

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive