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Haiti Relief Update

Haiti Relief Update

Last week, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Peter Weidhorn, Chairman of the Board of the URJ, sent the following email to presidents and rabbis of URJ Congregations.

What
do a religious school pajama party and a granddaughter's birthday gift have in
common? These are but two of the hundreds of stories behind more than 10,000
donors and how they've raised money to support the Union for Reform Judaism's
Haiti relief effort. Being part of the Reform Movement enabled these people to
turn their individual gifts, ranging from $1 to $10,000, into more than $1
million dollars in relief for Haiti.

We continue to be moved by the notes
of support
, particularly from children donating the contents of their tzedakah
boxes or giving up their weekly allowance to help out. It has been an inspiring
Movement-wide enterprise! To donate go to www.urj.org\haiti

In the few short weeks since the earthquake, we already have sent nearly
$500,000 to Haiti through grants for emergency rescue, medical care, and food
and water distribution. To see a list of all our allocations, go to www.urj.org/haiti.
Our future allocations will focus on long-term recovery efforts.

Already, the Union has partnered with AJWS,
MAZON
and the Jewish
Coalition for Disaster Relief
to support relief efforts, as well as
with several secular international relief agencies with which we have worked in
the past.

In partnership with the Joint
Distribution Committee
, we are sponsoring medical clinics through the International
Medical Corps
(IMC) in Petit Goave and the region along the coast to
Miragoane. There is tremendous devastation in that poor region west of
Port-au-Prince, with very few services available even before the quake. IMC's
work consists of setting up and operating static and mobile medical clinics
that serve approximately 120 people a day. The mobile clinics are both land
vehicles and boats that are reaching isolated communities twice a week. This
project will provide the anchor to future grants in this region targeted by the
Jewish community in North America for ongoing support.

Another special grant from the Union's fund was to the GHESKIO Emergency
Rehabilitation Center, an outpatient facility for the care of patients with
HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. In addition to caring for the population affected by
these illnesses, since the earthquake, GHESKIO has become a refugee camp and an
emergency field hospital for thousands of disabled patients. To better serve
their expanded patient base, GHESKIO, with disaster relief support from the
Union, is building the infrastructure and installing two dome tents to serve as
rehabilitation centers. This grant was arranged through the relationship
developed by Temple Beth El of Hollywood, Florida, which sponsors an orphanage
for children with HIV/AIDS.

This effort, the thousands of donors and our collective care for those in
need are hallmarks of our Reform Movement. Even as we strengthen and support
those who are suffering, we - as individuals and as a Movement - are
strengthened and supported by these wonderful acts of chesed.

Feel free to contact us for additional information about the Union's role in
providing relief in Haiti. For information about allocations, please contact
Naomi Abelson at 212.650.4162 or nableson@urj.org
or Rabbi Marla Feldman at 212.650.4140 or mfeldman@urj.org.
For information about donations contact the Development office at 212.650.4140
or development@urj.org.

Published: 3/05/2010

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