Chabad on the Frontlines of Humanitarian Relief in Japan

[eJP note:] Asian Jewish Life and eJewish Philanthropy are partnering together, leveraging our global contacts, to bring first-hand information on how the Jewish/Israeli world is responding on the ground in the aftermath of the Japanese quake. For more, see Japanese earthquake updates.

image courtesy Red Cross

by Erica Lyons

In response to the massive devastation caused by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami coupled with aftershocks and the threat of nuclear disaster, Chabad of Japan, under the direction of Rabbi Mendy Sudakevich finds itself on the frontlines of a disaster relief effort. Chabad House itself is being used to help locals and tourists obtain any information they might need along with offering basic assistance and aid.

With a death toll that has already passed 10,000, the Japanese people need all the help they can get. Close to 400,000 people are without food and shelter, including approximately 200,000 evacuated from an ever-growing circle around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant where emergency crews are battling possible meltdowns at up to three reactors. Electrical shortages are also widespread.

Chabad of Japan, under the umbrella of Chabad of Asia under the direction of Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon of Hong Kong, has already made arrangements for basic necessities to start arriving in Sendai, one of the hardest-hit cities. The first 5 ton shipment of basic supplies including rice, water, bread, gas canisters, instant soups and blankets is scheduled to leave for Sendai tonight and the second one within 24-48 hours.

A bakery near Sendai has been exclusively commissioned by Chabad to bake bread for free distribution. Likewise, a shipment of 50,000 self heating meals is also being prepared to be flown from the United States. The center is also helping to coordinate the evacuation of victims.

Their cost for the next 48 hours alone is US$ 100,000.

They can only accomplish this with immediate help. For donation options, please click here.