Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan

Despite the fact that our Purim holiday, a day marked by wild celebration and joy, is nearly upon us I am dwelling on Japan and its current desperate plight. Every evening I watch the news to see a desperate situation become worse.  And so first I pray. May God heal all those who are injured. May God grant consolation to those who are mourning. May God grant strength to the rescuers. I pledge to donate to the rescue and rebuilding efforts.  I am prefer to give through Jewish charities. I prefer the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Here is the Joint's statement on Japan's earthquake and tsunami:
In partnership with the Japanese Jewish Community, JDC is distributing emergency supplies, including food and hygiene products, to victims of the disaster through JEN, a local Japanese NGO currently operating in the hardest-hit Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. JDC, which acquired substantial relevant expertise following the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, contacted the Japanese Jewish Community immediately following the disaster. "I was aware of JDC before the earthquake,” said Philip Rosenfeld, the Community treasurer. “But that initial phone call from JDC and the organization's 24-hour turnaround at this time was fantastic."  JDC also worked in Japan before the American entrance into World War II, helping support Jewish refugees in Kobe who fled Hitler’s Europe. Today, several thousand Jews live and work in Japan.
JDC exemplifies the Jewish obligation of tikkun olam, healing the world.  In its own words it is the "9-1-1 of the Jewish world."  It is often my charitable address when such crises strike.  May they indeed help to bring healing to the people of Japan!

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