Chabad volunteers
Chabad volunteers Chabad on Campus

Chabad on Campus has launched an initiative to raise money to support reconstruction of areas damaged in the fires which raged across Israel last week.

"Hundreds of university students across the United States and around the world made thousands of dollars in donations to a special fund set up by Chabad on Campus International," the organization stated.

The funds are intended to repair and rebuild homes which were damaged or destroyed, and to cover the expenses of other victims of the fires.

One anonymous donor has pledged to match other donations up to $9,000.

While Chabad on Campus International is raising money, students from Chabad on Campus Israel will be volunteering to help with relief efforts.

The organization stated that, "The funds will go towards several initiatives organized by Chabad on Campus Israel and the Student Union. First, students will help guard houses that are uninhabitable, and along with the military academy in Haifa, ensure property and the remaining belongings are untouched. In addition, Chabad on Campus and Haifa University’s Student Union have arranged for building contractors to appraise the damage to torched homes and start work to repair them. Lastly, they are raising the morale of the brave firefighters, who have been working around the clock for over a week, with food, tefillin, and smiles."

“I am so proud of the Ahavat Yisrael (love for one's fellow) displayed by our students here and in Israel,” said Rabbi Yossy Gordon, Executive Vice President of Chabad on Campus International based in New York. “We prayed and watched with concern from around the world as these wildfires fires caused terrible damage and left thousands homeless. University students who attend Chabad in Israel were quick to begin their relief efforts on several fronts and now their fellow students in the diaspora are happy to have the opportunity to join in those efforts.”

Rabbi Tanchum Rivkin, the Chabad emissary at the University of Haifa, said: “This campaign is in place to help provide the victims of the fires whatever they need. From furniture to personal belongings. In times of crisis, sometimes the bureaucratic process delays the government from helping right away. We are here to fill that gap and provide immediate assistance in any way we can.”

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