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Helping Israel's Children Under Fire

Interest: Israel, Kids
Audience: Kids, Families

Providing trauma therapy for children under fire in Seattle's partnership communities in southern Israel

$0 Raised out of $9,975
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On July 8, in response to incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, the IDF launched Operation Protective Edge, a widespread campaign against terror targets in Gaza.  For almost the entire Israeli population, this time has been marked by physical and emotional upheaval.  During the current crisis, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's Emergency Response Team is working tirelessly to ensure the well-being of the most vulnerable Israelis under fire—people with disabilities, the elderly, children at risk, and others. With the onslaught of daily rocket attacks, comes the dreaded Color Red Siren. As the siren sounds, residents frantically grab children and elderly neighbors and sprint to the nearest shelter, with racing thoughts and pounding hearts. Following these frenzied 15 seconds, young and old, weak and strong, wait, for what seems like an eternity, for the blast. Exasperated by their helplessness and fearing for the lives of their loved ones, children and adults must cope with sustained and unbearable stress levels.

Hibuki is a post-trauma therapy program for kindergarten age children.  The Hibuki doll – a puppy doll with velcro strips at the end of its long arms that can 'hug' children and be hugged back – helps the children cope with their own fears and anxieties by transferring the therapeutic responsibilities of caring to the child.  For children in Seattle's partnership communities of Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon in southern Israel, this most recent conflict only adds to the ongoing stress that they have endured all their young lives from living within short range of rockets from Gaza.  After the conflict is over, Hibuki is there to help these children through their post-traumatic symptoms, such as nightmares, obsessive thoughts, and flashbacks.

Amos Levi
Assistant Director, Donor Relati
Michael Novick
Executive Director for Strategic

About Amos Levi

In 1996, Amos Levi began his ongoing adventure working on behalf of the Jewish people as the first Jewish Service Corps volunteer in Poland. This fueled his passion for JDC, where he returned twelve years later after making aliyah. Today, as a senior member of JDC’s International Relations team, Amos applies his experience in Jewish communal work to fostering a collective understanding of global Jewish responsibility among North American Jews and connecting them to JDC’s global programs. With a background in social work Amos also helps with efforts to address trauma in children in southern Israel.

About Michael Novick

Michael Novick has served as Executive Director for Strategic Development of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) since 1999. His primary responsibilities include developing strategic partnerships between JDC and Jewish federations, as well as donor directed giving opportunities. Michael is also serving as JDC’s consultant to communities worldwide in the areas of fundraising and strategic planning, including South & Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Uruguay & Chile), South Africa, Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Serbia, Turkey), Western Europe (Finland, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy) and the Former Soviet Union (Belarus, Ukraine, Russia). Prior to assuming his current position, Michael served in Jewish federations over a period of 24 years. Before joining JDC, he served as Executive Vice President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle for 12 years and he was Assistant Executive Director and Campaign Director for six years at the United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Michael began his career in Jewish communal service in 1976 with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, where he worked in campaign management, leadership development, and community relations. He is a graduate of the Federation Executive Recruitment and Education Program (FEREP), sponsored by the Council of Jewish Federations in New York. Michael received a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts degree in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew College. Michael and his wife Tina are both originally from El Paso, Texas, and have resided in Bellevue, WA for the past 25 years. They have two children: Daniel – a public relations executive with Golin/Harris in Dallas, TX and his wife Rebecca Frankel Novick, and Alyssa Zupnick -- a teacher at the Phoenix Hebrew Academy, and her husband Dan Zupnick.