(JNS.org) Days after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, leaving more than 70 people dead, Jewish organizations launched comprehensive relief efforts.
Jewish Federations across North America, in the few days that followed the storm, raised more than $43,000 through an online relief fund in 24 hours for recovery and rebuilding after the storm. Also launching relief funds were Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, and the National Council of Young Israel, while the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) previously existing disaster relief fund is raising money for Sandy victims.
“Each donation, both large and small, can bring us closer to relieving the financial stress natural devastation so often brings forth,” said Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie, director of the North County Chabad Center in Yorba Linda, Calif., according to Chabad.org.
Chabad-Lubavitch in New York City, in partnership with Chabad Young Professionals and Ari Teman of JCorps, and Julie Menin, a candidate for Manhattan Borough President, sent paramedics to help the elderly as well as more than 100 volunteers to go through lower Manhattan and visit nearly 3,000 affected apartment units. “Today we visited some housing developments of the lower east side to bring food and water to the elderly and disabled citizens who are without. You really become thankful for what you do have during a time like this,” said longtime JCorps volunteer named Jillian.
“I think the most important thing for these people is just a smiling face. One man didn’t speak to anyone in three days. He greeted me with a hug, relieved really just to see someone and talk to someone. That’s what we’re doing here,” said Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Atlantic County, NJ.
To donate to the Jewish Federation, Chabad, URJ or Young Israel relief funds, visit www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=258452, www.mychabad.org/special/campaigns/hurricane_sandy/donate.asp?1=1&site=chabad.org, www.urj.org/socialaction/issues/relief/, and www.youngisrael.org/securecontent/donate.cfm?dt=hurricane_relief.