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Israel Alert – December 2010

As most readers know, Israel suffered a series of massive, devastating fires in and around Haifa near the end of November. Nearly 80,000 residents were evacuated, lives were lost, and it took several days to bring the fires under control.

Aside from the destruction of homes, businesses and forests themselves, there was the added pain that it appears many of the fires were the result of arson.

There were also signs of kindness and generosity: nations such as Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Russia, to name just a few, sent firefighting planes and other aid to Israel.

Reading through the Jewish News and Jewish Chronicle in the Davidson Digital Archives, I have known about the crucial role that forests have played in Israel; more to the point, the creation of forests with support from the American and Detroit Jewish communities.

I did not recall, however, that Israel had suffered another devastating fire just six years ago until I read the Dec. 23, 2010, of the JN. Until 2016, it was the worst fire in Israeli history. And, like the aftermath of the recent fire, it required a huge relief effort to bring the forests back to life. While not fun, it is worthwhile reading. In particular, see the editor’s essay and an advertisement that sums up the critical situation in 2010. Let’s hope this is the last fire in Israel we’ll see beyond those made by campers.

Want to learn more?  Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News
Foundation Archivist

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