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Jewish Federation funnels aid for Pacific earthquake-tsunami relief

Individuals can contribute online or call 312-444-2869 to contribute to Jewish Federation Pacific Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund.

Japan debris image
An aerial view of debris from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck northern Japan, March 11.

In the wake of the worst earthquake in Japan’s history, and the subsequent tsunamis impacting nations across the Pacific, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago is accepting donations to provide humanitarian aid to the survivors on the ground.

Funds primarily will be distributed through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), with its 97-year history of providing compassionate, effective emergency relief to the non-Jewish world, and IsraAID, the coordinating body of Israeli charities devoted to global relief work. As of March 25, the Federation has received more than $127,000 from 1,100 contributors for the Relief Fund.

100% of collected funds will go directly to aid the victims; the Jewish Federation will absorb any administrative costs.

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

"Our community has a tremendous track record of providing timely, non-sectarian relief through a Jewish conduit in the wake of disasters throughout the U.S. and worldwide,” said Jewish Federation President Steven B. Nasatir. “As the Chicago Jewish community’s central address for meeting human needs, the Federation is proud to provide a vehicle for emergency relief from our community.”

"Along with all Americans and concerned people worldwide, we mourn the terrible loss of life that has befallen the people of Japan," wrote Skip Schrayer, chairman of the board, and Steven Nasatir, president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago in a letter to the Hon. George Hisaeda, Consul General of Japan.

In recent years, the Jewish Federation also has provided critical aid to those affected by the catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti, China and South Asia; the massive forest fires in Northern Israel; Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Gulf coast, the devastating tsunami in South Asia; wildfires in California; and the September 11 terror attack on the U.S.

Meanwhile, an IDF Home Front Command and IDF Medical Corps delegation will depart for the Miyagi district in Japan at 11 p.m. Israel time Saturday, March 26th 2011. The delegation will consist of around fifty soldiers and officers including logistics teams, experts in the field of population management, Japanese translators, experts from the Committee of Atomic Energy, fourteen doctors specializing in different fields, seven nurses and nine paramedics. The teams will assist Japan’s rehabilitation efforts by providing various medical services and establishing a medical center manned by the IDF Home Front Command and IDF Medical Corps specialists.

The IDF Field Hospital will partner with the JDC efforts in Minamisanriko. JDC – which previously supported IDF Field Hospitals in Haiti and Turkey – will provide equipment, such as an infant ventilator and portable ultrasound as well as life-saving antibiotics and other medications.

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