Sep 8, 2005
In a concrete expression of their close partnership, the three largest national organizations serving the Orthodox Jewish community have joined together to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The Rabbinical Council of America, the Union of Orthodox Congregations of America, and Yeshiva University (in conjunction with its Center for the Jewish Future) have together established a special emergency coalition to gather and distribute much-needed assistance and resources to assist communities and individuals throughout the affected area.
Financial contributions for this purpose have been solicited on a nation-wide basis in Jewish communities and synagogues. We are pleased to report that as a result of the generosity of many people, substantial funds have been collected. Contributions have been collected via the OU website (www.ou.org.) [Contributions continue to be received on that site, while others who wish to write checks are sending them to the Orthodox Union, 11 Broadway, New York NY 10004 (made out to the Orthodox Union, while noting “Joint Katrina Fund” on the memo line.] These funds are being carefully accounted for, for distribution in consultation with local rabbis and communal leaders in the communities where many have arrived (including Memphis, Houston, and Dallas.)
Beyond financial gifts, the coalition continues to implement other assistance initiatives, (including visits to the area by specialists in responding to trauma, as well as planned assignment of supplementary teachers to help with the educational needs of new students to receiving communities, etc.) The Coalition is also coordinating offers of assistance of all kinds, being made by affiliated Orthodox synagogues, schools, rabbis, and others around the United States, and from abroad, as they come to its attention.
The coalition will continue to monitor the situation and the needs, and will extend assistance accordingly, whether in the short, intermediate, or long term.
In the meantime, the Orthodox community is encouraged to contribute to the Joint OU/RCA/YU-CJF Katrina Fund, with the assurance that all monies collected will be fully accounted for and responsibly disbursed, without any deductions or administrative costs (other than applicable credit card fees.)