Donations to Israel since October 7 topped $1.4 billion, government reports

Diaspora Affairs Ministry notes ‘unprecedented effort by Jewish communities’ with cash going to government agencies, 350 nonprofits; Israel Bonds sales raise further $1.7 billion

Magen David Adom dedicates 14 new ambulances, donated by Samaritan's Purse, to fallen volunteers and employees, Jerusalem, January 23, 2024. (Eastside Studio)
Magen David Adom dedicates 14 new ambulances, donated by Samaritan's Purse, to fallen volunteers and employees, Jerusalem, January 23, 2024. (Eastside Studio)

Organizations and individuals around the world have donated at least $1.4 billion toward Israel’s recovery from the attack of October 7, according to a new report published by the Diaspora Affairs Ministry.

The donations, coupled with widespread pro-Israel activism in the Diaspora and the arrival in Israel of tens of thousands of volunteers, represent “an unprecedented effort by Jewish communities around the world to support Israel,” the ministry said in the report. (When accounting for inflation, the total donated is more than what American Jews gave to Israel in response to the Six Day War in 1967 but less than they gave six years later in the Yom Kippur War.)

The report represents the most complete published tally of wartime donations so far and includes fundraising by Jewish federations, crowdsourced campaigns, and “Friends Of” charities benefiting the Israel Defense Forces and Magen David Adom, the national emergency service. A previous tally, published by the University of Haifa in December, put the total at $1 billion within the first month of the war.

About half of the sum was raised by the Jewish Federations of North America and its 146 member organizations. The committee distributing the money is so flush with donations that it has not had to turn down requests from Israeli charities as long as they meet certain criteria.

At least 350 Israeli nonprofits along with several government agencies have received donations from abroad to help with medical and emergency services, mental health support, aid for victims of terrorism, economic needs, and other areas.

An estimated 58,000 volunteers flew to Israel to volunteer for military service, agricultural work, and work with organizations supporting October 7 victims and evacuees from the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Volunteers pick pomegranates at Moshav Zrahia. (Omer Melamed)

War erupted on October 7 when the Palestinian terror group Hamas led a devastating cross-border attack on Israel. The terrorists killed nearly 1,200 people and abducted 253. Israel responded with a military campaign to destroy Hamas and free the hostages, of whom 129 remain in captivity.

Separately from the donations, the Israeli government has managed to borrow $1.7 billion through the sale of Israel bonds. About $300 million of the sum came from American state and local governments, especially in Florida. The bonds sold faster than in a typical period, with many investors publicly citing their desire to support Israel. The report said investors were opting for Israel bonds even though returns on the bonds are relatively modest compared to other investments currently available on the market.

The total raised on crowdsourcing platforms reached at least $91.5 million, with more than half raised for United Hatzalah, Israel’s volunteer emergency medical corps.

Dutch volunteers pick lemons on a farm in southern Israel, as part of a post-October 7 solidarity tour, March 4, 2024. (Maya Alleruzzo/AP)

The rate of donations has slowed down significantly over the six months since the October 7 attack, but the money available for Israeli charities has not run out — far from it. About a third, or more, of the $1.4 billion raised, has not yet been allocated as donor organizations set aside funding for long-term needs, according to the report.

All information in the report comes from public sources. Commissioned by the ministry to carry out research for the report, ​​DNAidea, an Israeli consulting company, examined some 800 online sources. The research could not account for additional donations delivered on a private, grassroots basis.

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