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Jewish Federation of Greater Washington aids recovery from Maui fire

“It is our responsibility as a Jewish community to support those in need,” said the Federation’s CEO.

Two Hawaii Army National Guard CH47 Chinooks perform aerial water-bucket drops on the island of Maui to assist in fighting the wildfires, Aug. 9, 2023. Credit: U.S. National Guard Video by Air Force Master Sgt. Andrew Jackson.
Two Hawaii Army National Guard CH47 Chinooks perform aerial water-bucket drops on the island of Maui to assist in fighting the wildfires, Aug. 9, 2023. Credit: U.S. National Guard Video by Air Force Master Sgt. Andrew Jackson.

In the wake of fires last week that devastated Maui, Hawaii, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, like many under the umbrella of the Jewish Federations of North America, has created a fund to support the island’s recovery.

“The people and communities in Hawaii need us, and it is our responsibility as a Jewish community to support those in need,” Gil Preuss, CEO of the Federation, stated in a release.

“Not only does Maui’s community need our help, but many people are fleeing to Honolulu, where Jewish communal organizations will receive many requests for support,” Preuss told JNS.

“While the needs are still evolving, the community is in urgent need of first-aid kits, baby food and more,” he told JNS. “We will continue to work with our partners on the ground to stay updated on the situation as it evolves, and to do all we can to care for and support those in need.”

So far, said Preuss, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has raised nearly $25,000 since the fund started on Aug. 11.

Josh Green, the state’s governor, has called it “the largest natural disaster we’ve ever experienced.”

To date, 93 individuals have been confirmed dead. Recovery efforts continue to take place as firefighters work to completely contain the blazes in Lahaina—the town that was the most hard-hit—and its environs.

Washington is one of dozens of Federations contributing to the larger Jewish Federation of North America’s Hawaii Wildfire Relief Fund.

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