LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP/AP) – The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts hosted a fundraiser event Sunday to help support Israel’s needs.

According to a news release from the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, the goal of the fundraiser “Together for Israel” is to raise $50,000 in just one hour. All of the funds that are raised at the fundraiser will be used for immediate and urgent needs, like medical care, emergency services, evacuation, transport, housing, supporting victims of terror, trauma relief, and psychological support, as well as preparing for medium-and long-term needs.

22News spoke with Nora Gorenstein, CEO of the federation, about why it’s important for the local Jewish community to take action.

“We are gathered here to support Israel’s sovereignty as a country and to make sure there is an end to this conflict speedily and soon and decisively,” said Gorenstein. ” n the Jewish tradition, we say ‘if you save one life, it’s as if you’ve saved the whole word.”

Several special guests made an appearance at the event Sunday, such as Holocaust Survivor Henny Lewin, Senator John C. Velis, Senator Jake Oliveira, Representative Brian Ashe, Representative Aaron Saunders, and more.

Jewish Federations of North America have already exceeded their goal of $500 million to support Israel in their hour of need. Jewish Federations have allocated over $70 million to organizations that are providing support in Israel.

According to the Associated Press, the Israeli military intensified airstrikes in Gaza including near its largest hospital while thousands of people are desperate for food and basic items broke into aid warehouses in the besieged enclave.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday called the 3-week-old Israel-Hamas war a fight for Israel’s existence and said “‘Never again’ is now.” He announced a “second stage” in the war and said that Israel is determined to bring back 229 hostages taken by Hamas during its bloody October 7 rampage.

The Palestinian death toll passed 8,000, with most of them women and children, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.