An Israeli rabbi is asking Atlantans to help shelter residents of northern Israel from rocket attacks by militant groups beyond the country’s borders.
Operation Lifeshield‘s steel-reinforced concrete shelters not only provide physical protection from Hezbollah and Hamas rockets, but they offer peace of mind for frazzled Israelis who only have 30 seconds to find shelter after hearing the warning siren, said Shmuel Bowman, executive director of the non-profit organization.
At a September event hosted by accounting firm Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP in Atlanta, Mr. Bowman asked a packed house of Israel supporters to help Operation Lifeshield place shelters at high-traffic areas like bus stations.
The group, which has installed 90 shelters since its founding in 2007, needs more funding to support the work, as building structures with steel frames and special cement can be expensive, Mr. Bowman said. A shelter for 15 people costs $20,000 to build, while a 50-person shelter is $40,000.
Alondra Larenas, an accountant in Habif’s tax department who lived in Israel for a decade, said the shelters are a comforting presence in the conflict-ridden country.
“I was just by one of those shelters waiting for a bus during my last visit,” Ms. Larenas said in a news release. “It’s a very nice feeling that you have somewhere you can go and protect yourself in case something happens.”
Though the number of casualties from rockets has been relatively small, the frequent attacks make it difficult for Israelis in affected areas to live normal lives. Young and old alike constantly live on edge, Opher Aviran, Israel’s consul general in Atlanta, told GlobalAtlanta.
Mr. Aviran credited Israel’s security measures and shelters for minimizing loss of life.
For more information, visit www.operationlifeshield.org.