With Terror on the Decline, Zaka Faces Bankruptcy

The Telegraph reports,

A Jewish charity whose bearded, skullcap-wearing volunteers rush to the scene of every suicide bombing in Israel is facing bankruptcy following the decline in Palestinian terrorism.
Members of Zaka were among the first to arrive at every atrocity, sifting through wreckage to gather the body parts of victim and bomber alike, in accordance with Jewish law.
[…] But the de facto end of the Palestinian intifada earlier this year has led to a crushing reduction in charitable donations.
“The perception is that our workload has gone down, and so we have seen a decline in the growth of our private funding,” said Yehuda Meshi Zahav, the founder and chairman of Zaka.
“But the reality is that our workload has gone up and so, until our funding catches up, there is a problem.”

Full story.

8 thoughts on “With Terror on the Decline, Zaka Faces Bankruptcy

  1. I probably will catch some flak for this but…
    As an ex-fed/head (cja/uja), I’ve heard too many Jewish groups cry for funds when their usefulness was long past due. So much wasted resources…way too much focus on Holocaust awareness, etc…blah, blah. I’m probably preaching to the converted.
    Perhaps this isn’t the case for Zaka…but the plea sounds the same.

  2. The article doesn’t say why their workload has gone up as attacks have gone down. I live in Israel, I haven’t heard that murders or accidental deaths are on the rise.

  3. Looking at the work Zaka does, it seems to be a service that no one previously provided and indeed they have gone around the world offering their help to other Jewish communities.
    If the work is good and is not duplicated elsewhere, then Jewish groups like this need support.
    It’s only when you have duplicated work from Jewish groups then sometimes you wonder why do they bother.
    By the way, from what I understand, Zaka gets no Israeli government support? Is that the case?

  4. On one hand they started off as an amazing grassroots initiative, but when they got into the spotlight and the donations started rolling in from kindhearted individuals, I think they got into a lot of problems.
    From Hesed Shel Emet (dealing only with care for the dead), it morphed to Zaka (same mission but more refined name), and then Zaka started getting massive donations like SUVs, GMC vans, BMW mopeds, and lots of money which instead of saving/investing for long-term stability, branched out into paramedic/’Hatzala’ type service, I’m sure on the most part with great intentions, rather than alterior motives. But, ma la’asot, Pajero SUVs cost a lot of money to use, maintain (one tire to replace costs about 1000sheks), and insure, as well as the major operation they turned into providing much needed and apreciated health services that complement Magen David Adom. I think it should also be complemented that it became a great way for Haredi people to get employment, training, and develop the forensics knowledge but the market is cyclical, and times change.
    Maybe it’s time to go back to the basics. It’s hard to downsize, especially since Zaka is an non-profit org with a family/brotherhood type environment, not some public company with faceless employees.
    FWIW, if you send an SMS with the work úøåîä in hebrew (don’t know about in english) to 3003, you can donate a modest 5sheks. On top of that, Shari Errison of the Israeli [philanthropic] Rich and Famous is matching all funds raised during this campaign.

  5. Warren wrote:
    The article doesn’t say why their workload has gone up as attacks have gone down. I live in Israel, I haven’t heard that murders or accidental deaths are on the rise.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    …. uh, maybe it’s because the “de facto” end of the intifada is media fluffernutter. The Palis are still lobbing missiles at the Negev. Teenagers still getting caught with bombs. Up until last week, the Israelis controlling the Egyptian border were still finding a whole lot of arms and explosives.
    There have not been more than a handful of big bus bombings a year for the past 5+ years – instead there has always been a lot of low-level violence. This is still going on.

  6. I’m compelled to give to them, despite their decline in usefulness. They’re still needed. How many are willing to do what they do? Not me. Call me a coward, but I wasn’t blessed with that sort of resolve.

  7. Ben David, I wasn’t arguing politics. Whatever needs to be done about it or not, none of the stuff you discuss has (so far, at least) increased expenses for Zaka.

  8. Zaka doesn’t only show up to terror attacks anymore. They also are a fixture at fatal car accidents. Whereas in the past, MDA would’ve just shipped the body to the morgue, they now come to clean up the site. With about 500 Israelis getting killed in car accidents a year, I’d say that they have a stable work supply.

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