JFNA Disburses Emergency Relief to Victims of Hurricane Sandy November 5, 2012
A week after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, Jewish Federations continue to respond in force and have begun to distribute funds to offer immediate relief to storm victims. The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Emergency Committee today authorized $500,000 for immediate humanitarian needs of Hurricane Sandy victims in the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey. The funds will be used for cash disbursements, food, shelter, clean-up kits and other basic necessities.
This afternoon, $250,000 was distributed to UJA-Federation of New York and $250,000 was distributed to the 10 Federations in New Jersey. The funds come from both the JFNA Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, which has raised over $245,000 in donations in less than a week, as well as from the JFNA Emergency Committee Reserve Fund. Other Federations across North America have raised hundreds of thousands of additional dollars through individual relief funds.
“These relief funds – raised through the incredible generosity of the Jewish community – are an important step toward rebuilding our communities,” said Cheryl Fishbein, chair of JFNA’s Emergency Committee. “In working with the Federations and leadership, we will continue to assess and help address the evolving needs of those recovering from Sandy.”
As the scope of Sandy’s impact becomes clearer, the JFNA Emergency Committee, in consultation with Federation and JFNA leadership, will allocate additional funds to meet other short-, medium- and long-term needs of storm victims, communal agencies and others.
Jewish Federations in the affected areas are quickly responding to the needs of hurricane victims through allocations to local agencies. Earlier today, UJA-Federation of New York committed up to $10 million to its Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund for immediate assistance to organizations and people harmed by the record-breaking storm. It is the organization's largest relief effort to date for a natural disaster. UJA-Federation of New York has already allocated $200,000 to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty for immediate food and security needs for its clients and Jewish community councils.
Since Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast on Oct. 29, there have been at least 110 deaths reported and more than $50 billion in estimated damages. As temperatures drop in areas hard-hit by the storm, many remain without power, heat or gas, and in need of basic supplies and amenities.
The large Jewish community in the New York metropolitan area continues to suffer as well. Reports indicate that flood damage to the downtown Manhattan location of the Jewish Daily Forward and several other Jewish organizations may keep the building closed for several months. Elsewhere in the area, synagogues, Jewish day schools and other Jewish organizations are coping with serious flood damage and loss of electricity.
Funds are still needed for recovery and rebuilding efforts. Donors should contribute to their local Federation’s Hurricane Relief Fund or directly to the JFNA Hurricane Relief Fund at http://jfeds.org/SandyRelief. In addition, donors may text RELIEF to 51818 on a mobile device to pledge a donation or send checks to our national mailbox at The Jewish Federations of North America, Wall Street Station, PO Box 148, New York, NY 10268. Please indicate "JFNA Hurricane Relief Fund" on all checks or in the designation box online.