Update on Hurricane Harvey and Jewish Federation Response

Hurricane Harvey –Through the combined efforts of JFNA and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, a total of $14.M has been committed as of September 19, 2017. This includes $5.8M raised in Houston, $5M from Federations across North America, $2.2M from national Jewish foundations, and $1M from the Government of Israel. 

Hurricane Irma – The response across the system has been much more muted – a consequence of the timing right on the heels of Harvey. As of yesterday, we had a total of $205,000 committed, either to the national donation site or allocations from communities.

Specific Responses to Disasters

Hurricane Maria

JFNA’s Emergency Committee and Network staff are closely tracking the trajectory and impact of the storm on the Caribbean Islands. In particular:

St. Thomas – US Virgin Islands – yesterday, JFNA was able to procure 200 generators and is making arrangements to ship them to the Hebrew Congregation in St. Thomas as soon as possible. We are working on additional supplies urgently needed by the community.

Puerto Rico – JFNA staff has been in regular contact with the synagogues in Puerto Rico heading into the storm and will assess and respond to their needs as soon as contact resumes.

Non-US locales – our partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is working to respond to the needs in other Caribbean nations affected by the various hurricanes and is increasing their efforts in the wake of this latest storm. IsraAid is currently positioned in Haiti and prepared to deploy after the storm.

Mexico Earthquakes

IsraAid and the Israel Defense Forces are deploying to Mexico to provide immediate assistance in the wake of yesterday’s devastating earthquake, the second massive earthquake to hit Mexico in two weeks. The IsraAid team is deploying alongside an IDF delegation of 70 soldiers and officers. 

The JDC is working in partnership with Cadena, Mexico, a local NGO, to provide assistance, as well. JDC is opening an emergency fund for the Mexico situation.

Rina Goldberg in JFNA’s Israel office is the point of information on Mexico.

Hurricane Jose

This hurricane grazed the northeast coast. While there have been reports of some coastal flooding, we are not yet aware of any specific impacts on Jewish communities.

Hurricane Harvey

JFNA’s Emergency Committee approved grants this past week to the small communities in Beaumont/Port Arthur and Galveston to assist local families affected by the hurricane. Intensive work continues with Houston to help the community mobilize a comprehensive response to their needs, estimated in the $30M range.


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