We are in virtually hourly contact with the leadership of the Puerto Rico and St. Thomas communities around a whole host of issues. Grants totaling $225K are already approved and funds transferred to support:
With funding from UJA Federation of NY, 212 generators have been or are being delivered for the community’s needs (100 each to PR and St. Thomas; 12 to the Keys).
Working leadership from So. Palm Beach Federation we are coordinating logistics to move 80,000 lbs of donated food and other urgent supplies to the islands.
Over the past five weeks, we have seen a brutal series of natural disasters and our Federation system has been deeply engaged in responding to each of them. We continue to work with the Houston Jewish community on the massive impact of Hurricane Harvey on their community ($30M+ of estimated needs, and with communities across Florida to assess needs from Hurricane Irma. JDC is actively working in Mexico following the earthquakes, and in other island nations affected by hurricanes.
A letter from Jerry Silverman, President & CEO of JFNA:
We are now at a point where we need to escalate our system’s response to Hurricane Irma and its impact across Florida and the Caribbean. While the initial reports across communities indicated that we may have dodged a bullet given our expectations, the picture has evolved in the past two days as we learn about the spectrum of the storm’s impact. JFNA’s Emergency Committee staff has been tracking the status of more than a dozen communities – from the US Virgin Islands up through Savannah.
Of particular concern are the following:
While the overall impact of Hurricane Irma on communities will not reach the scale of Houston, emergency resources to help affected communities and families recover will be much needed. JFNA’s Emergency Committee is meeting today for the third time since the onset of Hurricane Harvey. Even as we continue to pursue our efforts to meet the enormous needs facing Houston and the surrounding communities, we must also meet our responsibilities to our communities in the Southeast.
In addition, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has escalated its response to the Caribbean Islands outside the US.
The new Jewish year is upon us and we wish for you and all our communities a year of recovery and renewal. May we maintain an appreciation that our bonds of community and mutual support are a reflection of God’s presence in our lives.