Israel-Hamas War

Chicago natives raising money for medical supplies for Israel

Two Chicago residents teamed up to raise donations for emergency supplies and equipment to aid 3,000 wounded in Israel

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Since Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, began launching attacks over the weekend, 1,300 Israeli citizens have died and more than 3,000 have been wounded. During the fighting that's followed, more than 1,400 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

The devastation abroad hits home for Chicago natives Sam Rattner and his friend Justin Kriezelman. Rattner's grandfather served as Board President of the Jewish Education in Chicago, and was on the board for more than 40 years.

“My Grandfather would be beside himself if this was happening in Israel," he said.

Kriezelman is an emergency room surgeon who trained in Tel Aviv.

The two teamed up to raise money and donations for medical supplies and emergency help in Israel.

“This is their 9/11, and this is the worst attack on Jews globally since the Holocaust," Rattner said. “These people are going to need a lot of support.”

The pair have raised nearly $27,000 on their page so far to send to organizations like Israel Rescue and United Hatzalah, along with emergency medical facilities.

"We have relationships with some of those emergency medical facilities that are popping up because they can’t actually drive ambulances through the street," Rattner said.

“I’ve gotten hundreds of emails from people who are like ‘we love it, we already donated to these organizations, how can we be helpful to yours.'" he said. "That’s all that matters, is that people who care have an outlet to be able to help, because I think there’s a lot of people who want to help and they aren’t sure where to go.”

Now he hopes others will be inspired to start their own efforts to raise money, and help in any way they can.

"Everybody has a small community of friends, family, whoever it may be," he says. "If thousands of people raised a couple thousand dollars that could be $50,000 or $100,000 that might not otherwise have been raised."

The International Committee of the Red Cross is also stepping up to help. They are calling for protection of healthcare workers and facilities in and near the warzone.

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