The Jewish Federations of North America has opened an emergency relief fund to provide aid and support to the victims of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, and to help those in other affected zones such as Hawaii and the U.S. mainland’s West Coast.
Donations can be made to the Japan, Hawaii and the Pacific Relief Fund online at http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=238775, by texting RELIEF to 51818, or through JFNA’s national mailbox at The Jewish Federations of North America, Wall Street Station, P.O. Box 148,
New York, NY 10268. JFNA is also working with the American Jewish Joint Distribu-tion Committee to support relief efforts.
The JFNA Emergency Committee is conducting a needs-assessment in association with partners including the JDC, to determine the short- and long-term needs arising from this disaster and how to best allocate funds raised. JFNA will continue to monitor and report on this process.
JDC has been in touch with the Japanese Jewish community in Tokyo, and distributed emergency supplies, including food and hygiene products, through JEN, a local Japanese NGO. JEN, which is currently operating in the hardest-hit Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, focuses on shelter reconstruction, support of the socially vulnerable and emergency supply distribution.
Disaster victims’ needs are shifting, as the situation on the ground in Japan changes. Japan is now facing a potential nuclear crisis. Explosions at a major power plant in the earthquake zone left radioactive fuel rods at risk of meltdown after generators shut off cooling systems. Extraordinary efforts to control the damage, including reconnecting the six reactors’ cooling systems to the power grid and dousing the damaged reactors with large amounts of water are continuing.
On March 22, news reports from several sources say Japanese officials have so far confirmed the deaths of more than 9,000 people, while more than 12,600 remain missing. Japanese officials say more than 300,000 people are currently living in shelters.
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.