The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is working with the Jewish community of Christchurch, New Zealand to aid survivors of the city’s devastating earthquake. JDC funding will contribute to Christchurch Jewish community efforts to repair a damaged local synagogue and homes, replace household goods, provide financial stipends and temporary relocation costs, and support community-service or children’s programs for the wider community.
In addition to lost property, damaged homes, and businesses, the Jewish community’s synagogue was damaged and the Chabad House was destroyed by the 6.3 earthquake that struck on February 22nd.
Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, is located in the Canterbury Province which is home to 600 Jews. Jewish settlement in the region dates back to the early 1860’s.
image: a non-Jewish police officer salvaged two Torah scrolls from the ruins of the Chabad-Lubavitch center in downtown Christchurch; courtesy chabad.org