Hollywood actress Natalie Portman has joined an Israeli initiative to send aid to Syrian refugees, it was announced Monday, donating money and clothes to a cause which she said “deeply moved” her.
Operation Human Warmth was launched by several Israeli organizations in January as an effort to collect winter clothes and supplies for Syrian refugees who have been displaced by the civil war in their country, and who often lack basic necessities to survive the cold.
Israeli-born Portman is currently in Tel Aviv to work on her directorial debut – a film based on Amos Oz’s “A Tale of Love and Darkness.” She reportedly heard about the initiative from Israeli friends and decided to contribute.
“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved,” the actress said in a statement. “In the middle of a brutal winter, these children have no shelter and their lives are in serious jeopardy from the cold. I am proud to take part in an operation where Israeli youth of all backgrounds are taking action to help out those whom need it most.”
The effort is led by Israeli youth group Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed and social and education organization Dror-Israel, as well as Israeli Flying Aid, an Israeli global humanitarian organization. The operation has a web site where visitors are encouraged to donate money or gear.
Dror-Israel said Monday that over 20,000 items and equipment have been collected so far, weighing around 30 tons.
“When we see the situation in Syria right now, we feel compelled to act. We feel that this operation is an expression of the Israeli public’s willingness to help those who need it most,” Dror Israel international collaborations director Gilad Perry said.