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Jewish Federation collecting for Haitian earthquake relief

Individuals can contribute online, by phone at 312.444.2869, or by mail

haiti rescue Israel image

In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake that has devastated Haiti, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago has opened an emergency mailbox to funnel humanitarian aid to the impoverished island nation.

Individuals can contribute online, by phone at 312.444.2869, or by mail: Jewish Federation Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund, c/o Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, 30 S. Wells St., Room 3023, Chicago, IL 60606.

100% of collected donations for will go directly to support non-sectarian needs on the ground; the Jewish Federation will absorb all administrative costs.

The majority of funds will be distributed through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), with its proud 95-year history of providing compassionate, effective emergency relief to the non-Jewish world. A significant part of the balance will be advanced to IsraAID, the coordinating body of Israeli charities devoted to global relief work.

“In supporting JDC and IsraAID, we are not only helping the Haitian people,” said Steve Nasatir, President of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. “We also are spotlighting the Jewish people and Israel in a part of the world that might not otherwise be positively exposed to the compassion of Jewish people and the Jewish State.”

In addition, Lee Miller, chairman, and Steven Dishler, director of Internation Affairs, of JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council have sent a letter of concern and support to The Hon. Lesly Conde, Consul General of Haiti.

The Jewish Federation has a long and distinguished track record of providing timely, non-sectarian relief in the wake of disasters throughout the U.S. and worldwide. In recent years, the institution has funneled aid to those affected by floods in the Midwest, wildfires in Southern California, earthquakes and tsunamis in Southern Asia, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Gulf coast, and the September 11 terror attack.

“The Federation is proud that the Jewish community counts on us as its central address for meeting human needs of all kinds, and trusts us to serve as the conduit for their generosity,” Nasatir said.

Other U.S. Jewish organizations and the Israeli government quickly responded to the disaster in Haiti by collecting money and sending aid directly to the island nation. Teams of Israeli doctors and nurses as well as specially trained Israel Defense Force and ZAKA first response units have been in Haiti since last Friday. The Israeli physicians were the first to arrive at Port-au-Prince's main hospital, which was leveled by the earthquake but where wounded had gathered in a desperate need for help. An Israeli field hospital has been set-up to treat the injured, while special teams have also undertaken rescues from under the rubble, freeing about a dozen people over the weekend.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a Cabinet meeting Jan. 16 that “despite being a small country, we have responded with a big heart, [as Israel has in the past].”

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