URJ Establishes Fund to Help Communities Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

In response to the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy, the Union for Reform Judaism is activating its Hurricane Relief Fund to collect donations for those suffering in the Hurricane’s wake.

Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast of the United States, doing billions of dollars in damage, causing dozens of deaths, and leaving more than 7.5 million people without power. As the storm was downgraded to a low pressure system, it continued to wreak havoc as far west as Cleveland, Ohio, and as far north as Toronto, Ontario.

Even as we work to determine the specific impact to URJ congregations and families, and to our larger communities, it is already clear – too clear – that this storm will require a long-term, coordinated recovery effort. The URJ is in the process of reaching out to all our congregations on the east coast and throughout the Midwest to determine what the most immediate needs are in impacted communities.

URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs said, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those adversely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The magnitude of damage is difficult to comprehend, as is the work that will be necessary to even begin restoration. But we know our nation, and our community, will rise to the challenge.”

Steve Sacks, chairman of the URJ’s North American Board, added, “Even as we work to determine the specific impact to URJ congregations and families, and to our larger communities, it is already clear – too clear – that this storm will require a long-term, coordinated recovery effort.  We are reaching out to all our congregations on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest to determine what the most immediate needs are in impacted communities.”

Isaac Nuell, the URJ Disaster Relief coordinator, will serve as the key point of contact. “As we have done in the past, we will work with our congregations and with local agencies to determine how to most effectively allocate the funds we receive,” he said.

Donations can be made to the URJ Hurricane Relief Fund online or by mail. Updates will be posted on the URJ website, along with prayers, emergency guidelines, and information on additional ways to help. With your support, the URJ will provide relief to congregations, families and communities, just as we have done for victims of natural disasters around the world. Together we can provide hope and help to those in need.