In the northern Israeli city of Safed (Tzfat), many homes were ravaged and several residents were hospitalized when a massive fire raged through the city last Friday. As the destruction became known, the Colel Chabad charity organization immediately set in motion an urgent fundraising campaign to help the homeless families.
“Several of the families, who lost everything in this fire, are well known to Colel Chabad, as they are poor and we help them all year long,” shared Yorum Mauda, Director of Programing for Colel Chabad in Safed, with Breaking Israel News. “We are striving to raise $240,000 to rebuild what these families lost, which is everything.”
Colel Chabad is Israel’s oldest charity, supporting families and individuals throughout the Holy Land through its expansive, active and caring network of social welfare programs. The organization maintains a strong and respected presence in Safed, which is one of Israel’s four holy cities but not one of its most prosperous, aiding its impoverished and dysfunctional families and maintaining unique programs for at-risk youth.
The families are presently being housed in a Safed motel. It is expected to take at least a year to rebuild their homes. Most of the structures were covered by insurance, but, Mauda explained to Breaking Israel News, many of the displaced families could not afford insurance for their household belongings. “What wasn’t destroyed by the fire, was destroyed by the water that the firemen used to extinguish the flames,” he said. “Everything must be replaced, which is why we are making this urgent appeal.”
Colel Chabad immediately sent the call to action to their dedicated staff throughout Israel and their international supporters. “The families have between six and ten children,” continued Mauda. “We are first focusing on their immediate relief by ensuring that they have food, diapers, towels, sheets, hygiene products, and clothes. Then, we will replace their furniture, appliances, etc. and do all that we can to rebuild their lives.”
Fire in Safed
The 30-foot flames destroyed fourteen houses and sent seven people to the hospital for smoke inhalation. It was so devastating that Safed’s municipality put emergency procedures into effect, which included sending its engineering department to test damaged homes and confirm that they are safe for evacuated residents to inhabit.
“Colel Chabad has opened a help center for those affected by the fire,” continued Mauda. “We will do all that we can to comfort those who lost so much, especially those who lost everything that they owned.”
To help the families made homeless by the fire, please click here.