Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres will leave for the United States on an official visit of diplomatic talks and a flash fundraising tour of United Jewish Communities and Jewish Federations of North America in six cities across the US for the purpose of raising money for the rehabilitation of the Galilee.
Peres was selected to be the head speaker in the UJC’s emergency campaign. The campaign was launched last Monday by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The official goal of the campaign is to raise $300 million, but the assessment is that due to an enormous outpouring of support in the US, the campaign could end up raising about a billion dollars, an all time record. Aid to Israel has already been given during the war and will be allotted for reconstruction efforts after the war.
Peres will make a coast-to-coast trip in four days and will participate in regional meetings of the big donors in New York, New Jersey, and Cleveland on the east coast, Chicago in the Midwest, and Atlanta in the south.
The UJC is already supporting several activities in Israel: Bringing children from the north to summer camps in the south for the entire duration of the war, relief excursions for 10,000 Kiryat Shmona residents, installation of air-conditioning units, televisions, fans, and emergency lighting for more than 1,500 bomb shelters in the north, transfer of new immigrants from absorption centers in the north to centers elsewhere in Israel, assistance to residents who stayed in the bomb shelters, assistance to needy populations including the elderly, children with disabilities, and families in distress, and psychological help for residents of the north.
Simultaneously more requests from the government are coming in. The activities are done with the help of the Joint and the Jewish Agency.
Deputy Prime Minister Peres said that he is proud to head the largest fundraising campaign in recent years for the reconstruction of the Galilee.