More pain for Oklahoma. But you can help

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The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago continues to accept donations to help those impacted by the devastating tornadoes that have ripped through the Oklahoma City area, killing and injuring scores of people and destroying homes, schools and places of business.

"On behalf of Chicago's Jewish community, our Federation extends our deepest sympathy and a strong helping hand to the people of the Oklahoma City area in the wake of these devastating storms," said Federation President Steven Nasatir. "We are ready to respond, as we have so often in the past, to provide support to those most in need."

The Federation's Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund was opened within a day of the massive May 20 storm that destroyed much of Moore, OK, and nearby areas, killing 24. Eleven days later, a series of twisters struck the state again, killing at least 18 and causing further injuries and damage.

Chicagoans may contribute online at, by calling (312) 444-2869, or by sending a check to the Jewish Federation Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund, Room 3022, 30 S. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60606. The Chicago Federation will absorb all administrative costs, ensuring that 100% of all donations go directly to aid those most grievously affected.

So far, nearly 500 donors have contributed or pledged more than $75,000 to the fund. The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago is partnering with the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma, which is determining the needs on the ground and next steps with its longtime partners. These include a local food bank, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross and other social welfare agencies in the affected areas. The Chicago Federation also is working with two other Jewish agencies on the ground, IsraAid and Nechama-Jewish Response to Disaster.

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and Federations across North America have a long track record of caring for victims of natural disasters. Last year, the Jewish Federation raised more than $514,000 and sent several volunteer missions to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy. In the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Chicagoans contributed $725,000 through the Jewish Federation to assist victims. Jewish Federations across North America provided more than $1 million for victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan; and $30 million to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

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