David Gad-Harf, associate executive vice president and chief operating officer of UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, sent this message on Friday, Dec. 3, to various community leaders:
As I’m sure you know, devastating fires struck Israel yesterday in the Haifa region. I want to report to you on the steps UJA Federation is immediately taking to rally our community in order to provide needed support to Israel. We seek your help in spreading the word, so our Jewish community will respond quickly and vigorously.
Sending an E-blast appeal to the community for special relief funds
Opening an online emergency mailbox for donations, which will be funneled through the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI); go to www.ujannj.org for more information
Working closely with The Jewish Standard for coverage on their website and in their next issue
Reaching out to leaders of other religious groups to solicit their support
Sending messages of support to particular groups and institutions in Israel with which we have close relationships, including the firefighters from the Western Galilee, Neve Yosef in Haifa, and our Partnership 2000 friends
Helping local first responders to provide support to their Israeli counterparts
For more information on the situation in Israel, please go to http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=234891
When the needs in Israel become clearer, we will inform you of other ways our community can be helpful. In the meantime, if you have other ideas, please let me know. Let us add prayers of hope for the safety and well-being of everyone in Israel who is affected by the fires, especially for the firefighters and other first responders, as we observe Shabbat and Chanukah this weekend.
Rabbi Arthur Weiner of the Jewish Community Center of Paramus sent this message to his congregants on Friday:
I am sure that by now, most of you are aware of the terrible fire that is raging in the forests outside of the city of Haifa. By all accounts, it is the worst fire of its type in Israel’s history. The loss of life is staggering, and the damage to property and Israel’s largest naturally wooded area is unprecedented.
Later on this afternoon, I will participate in a phone conference for American Jewish leaders on the fire, and how we in the American Jewish community can help. I will share that information with you after Shabbat.
In the meantime, I have just been informed that an emergency fund has been set up by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and other arms of the Conservative Movement to begin to collect resources to help Israel deal with this tragedy. Please read the announcement below my signature. I encourage you to respond generously to Israel’s request for help.
You are also encouraged to help by sending a check to the “Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund” marked for “fire relief efforts,” and I will send it worthy organizations helping in this effort.
Happy Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Arthur Weiner
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Rabbinical Assembly, and the Masorti Foundation are jointly working to coordinate relief efforts in Israel. A Fire Emergency Fund has been established at the Masorti Foundation. Proceeds will be used for 1) Immediate assistance to those in need; 2) Funding to support NOAM youth in the clean up and relief efforts, which will likely be required over a longer period of time; 3) Any remaining funds will be delivered to JNF as a gift from the Conservative/ Masorti movement.
Contributions can be made either by:
Check with the notation “Fire Emergency Fund” mailed to:
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 832
New York, NY 10115
Call the Masorti Foundation at (212) 870-2216 to make a credit card contribution
Go online to www.masorti.org, click on Make a Contribution, and in the Program Designation, we will create a line for “Fire Emergency Fund.” Until that is done, use the Chesed Projects designation. All contributions for the Chesed Projects will be treated as for the Fire Emergency Fund.
The Orthodox Union is collecting contributions online at www.OU.org/FIRE or by check made payable to “OU-FOREST FIRE Campaign” and sent to:
New York, NY 1004
ATTN: Israel Emergency Forest Fire Campaign
ARZA and the Union for Reform Judaism, with the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, are collecting donations through the Carmel Fire-Israel Emergency Fund at www.urj.org, or write to
633 Third Ave, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Donations to B’nai B’rith International’s Israel Emergency Fund can be made online using a secure online contribution form at www.bnaibrith.org or by mail (checks payable to the B’nai B’rith Israel Emergency Fund) to:
Israel Emergency Fund
B’nai B’rith International
2020 K Street, NW, 7th floor
Washington, DC 20006
The National Council of Young Israel is collecting funds at www.youngisrael.org.
ZAKA, Israel’s volunteer disaster-response service, is collecting funds at www.zaka.us. It can also be reached by calling (718) 676-0039 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.