Jewish Federations Aid for Haiti tops $4.8 m.

As of Friday, February 12th, the Jewish Federations have raised more than $4.8 million for Haiti relief. Included in that figure, Canadian Federations have raised over $1.3 million Canadian dollars ($1.2 million U.S.) In addition, the Canadian government has pledged to match the Canadian Federation funds. Among the Canadian communities, UJA-Federation of Toronto alone has raised $800,000 Canadian dollars ($761,875 U.S.) from more than 5,000 donors.

The Jewish Federations of North America and many individual Federations are also sending donations directly to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). JDC has raised $5.25 million to date, both from Federation donors and its own fundraising efforts.

The Jewish Federations of North America continues to work with the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief (JCDR) to monitor allocations and coordinate efforts among Jewish organizations. To date, relief work is being done through non-governmental organizations, USAID and the United Nations. The coalition has raised $170,000 and has recently allocated $60,000 to the American Jewish World Service for an initiative with EarthSpark International.

Founded by a young Jewish professional and social entrepreneur, Dan Schnitzer, EarthSpark aims to empower communities in Haiti by eradicating energy poverty. EarthSpark will purchase, transport and distribute solar lamps and promote post-disaster development.

World ORT reported to the coalition that they are focused on long-term recovery efforts. Next week, World ORT will send a team of Israeli experts to Haiti to assess how best to rebuild the country’s educational system and train those in the construction industry to avoid the same type of disaster in the future.

The JCDR will continue to meet weekly and make allocations to best serve the needs of the Haitian people during the aftermath of this tragedy.