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Federations Offer Support to Tornado Victims

May 24, 2011 – Destruction from the deadly tornado in Missouri and Kansas on Sunday has prompted an outpouring of support from Jewish Federations and concern from Jews around the country.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City is working to provide emergency funding and immediate assistance to victims in nearby Joplin, MO, and Reading, KS, with the help of Heart to Heart International and The Salvation Army. The Federation has opened the Kansas-Missouri Tornado Relief fund to support ongoing relief efforts. Thousands of dollars have already been contributed from around the country.

Donors can contribute online at http://jfeds.org/tornadoaid or by contacting The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City at (913) 327-8100. Contributions may also be mailed to: The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, Att: Kansas-Missouri Tornado Relief Fund, 5801 W. 115 St., Suite 201, Overland Park, KS 66211.

The Federation’s Board of Directors took an emergency vote to immediately allocate $5,000 to the current medical relief and ongoing recovery assistance relief. “With one of two hospitals in Joplin wiped out, and the fact that they are our neighbors, it was an easy decision for us to mobilize the community and provide a local Jewish response,” said Board president Bill Carr.

The Jewish Federations of North America is directing all contributions to the affected communities.

According to press reports, at least 117 people are dead following Sunday night’s storm in Joplin and Reading [editor’s note: by Tuesday, May 31, 132 deaths had been reported] , which has been called the deadliest single tornado in more than 50 years. There have been no reported deaths in the small Jewish community or damage to Joplin’s synagogue, the United Hebrew Congregation. However, several Jews reportedly remain among the dozens missing in the wake of the tornado.

while, destruction was widespread, and effects of the tornado have been felt by the entire community, including many of the synagogue’s congregants that live in the area. Some have lost entire homes, while others remain in need of basic living supplies.

“The Jewish Federations sends our support to those affected by this tragic event,” said Fred Zimmerman, chair of JFNA’s Emergency Committee. “As Jews, we share a responsibility for one another and to the community at large. We applaud the work of the Kansas City and St. Louis Federations to provide emergency relief to those in need, and remain committed to their efforts to rebuild and recover.”

JFNA and its Emergency Committee will continue to monitor the situation.

JFNA and Jewish Federations are committed to care for victims of global natural disasters, and have emergency relief plans into place to aid those in need. Jewish Federations recently raised more than $1 million to help those affected by the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, over $30 million to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, and $10 million for those affected by the southern Asia tsunami in 2004.

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