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Messianic Aid Center Hit By Hezbollah Rocket Blast

June 6, 2024
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Joseph Project International helps more than 200,000 suffering Israelis and terror victims
as ongoing Hezbollah attacks set Israeli town in flames

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. — One of the largest humanitarian aid operations in Israel, the Joseph Project International (JPI), is appealing for help after an affiliated Messianic relief center was struck by Hezbollah terrorists.

Local aid workers say it’s a miracle no one was killed in the rocket blast on May 24 that severely damaged a Messianic Jewish worship and aid center in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona near the Lebanon border — a community under constant attack with homes frequently set ablaze.rocket attack screenshot.png

The aid center is associated with the Joseph Project International, a giant relief effort that distributes food, clothing, blankets, medical supplies and other aid directly to the neediest Israeli families, as well as orphanages, hospitals and rehab centers across Israel. The Joseph Project International was founded by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA, www.mjaa.org).

Normally, the messianic congregation would have been meeting in the center at the time of the blast on Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. But on May 24 they were not in the building as Hezbollah launched a missile attack. One rocket exploded next-door to the aid center, causing major damage to the facility.

“It’s a miracle no one was injured or killed,” said Suzie Salway, area manager of the Joseph Project International, based near Jerusalem. “Hezbollah has ramped up its attacks in the north of Israel, and the situation there is growing more desperate by the day.”

After the war broke out, most of Kiryat Shmona’s residents — among some 90,000 Israelis uprooted by Hezbollah’s attacks — evacuated to other parts of Israel, leaving behind a virtual ghost town. But many members of the 100-strong messianic congregation, including the pastor and his family, returned to help those who stayed in the community, previously home to 23,000 Jews and Arabs.

“The congregation in Kiryat Shmona is determined to stay and serve their community and their neighbors, despite the obvious danger,” Salway said.

JPI has committed to helping the congregation rebuild the facility that often hosts international volunteers.

Humanitarian ‘Juggernaut’
Over the past two decades, the Joseph Project International — named after the biblical patriarch, Joseph, who prepared for a famine in ancient Egypt thus avoiding a national humanitarian catastrophe — has amassed and distributed more than $170 million worth of international aid from its 16,000 square foot warehouse in central Israel, including $16 million in aid since last October when the war began. Overseas aid arrives in giant 40-foot shipping containers, funded by donors in the U.S. and elsewhere.

JPI helps both Jews and Arabs living in Israel, including families facing a constant barrage of terrorist missiles fired from Gaza in the south and Lebanon in the north.

“The need is huge and growing more urgent,” said Hank Rich, chairman of the Joseph Project International’s Israel board of directors. “It’s getting worse and worse every day. Hezbollah’s rockets are getting more sophisticated, and there’s no sign of when the thousands of Israelis who’ve been displaced will be able to return to their homes.”

According to JPI, more than 30% of Israeli children and 25% of Israeli adults live in poverty.

“We’re a lifeline for both Jews and Arabs living in Israel,” Rich said. “We deliver aid to the people who need it the most, regardless of race, religion or creed.”

Every year, JPI estimates it serves hundreds of thousands of the 2 million-plus Israelis living in poverty.

Number One Aid Importer
Israel’s high defense spending as well as the high cost of living and low wages has resulted in cuts to government social services, meaning humanitarian aid efforts such as the Joseph Project International are increasingly vital, said Joel Chernoff, JPI’s founder and executive board chairman.

“The Joseph Project International is the largest importer of humanitarian aid in Israel,” he said. “Aid goes directly to families in the most need through our established distribution network of local government agencies and other local charitable organizations.”

JPI also distributes food and meals to Israeli families and Israeli soldiers on the frontline, serving hundreds of meals every day.

International aid is “vital, even critical, to the future survival of the State of Israel,” said Chernoff. “Now is the time to bring hope and healing to the nation of Israel by sharing with them the compassionate, loving heart of the God of Israel for the people of Israel.”

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Operating across Israel, the Joseph Project International is the number one importer of humanitarian aid in Israel, annually serving hundreds of thousands of needy Israelis — both Jews and Arabs. 

PHOTO CUTLINE: MESSIANIC AID CENTER IN ISRAEL ATTACKED BY HEZBOLLAH: An aid center affiliated with the Joseph Project International was struck by a Hezbollah rocket attack on May 24 causing severe damage.

MEDIA INTERVIEWS: To arrange a video or phone interview with the Joseph Project International’s Joel Chernoff or Hank Rich in the U.S. or Suzie Salway in Israel,  contact: Gregg Wooding, 972-567-7660, gwooding@inchristcommunications.com

 

Why not have ICC’s seasoned journalists write your press releases and get your story out there? We’re here to help you!