Current Federation Recovery Efforts

Hurricane Maria pounded the Caribbean Islands as Jose created flooding in the Northeast. We’re still evaluating damage from Irma’s wide path across Florida into neighboring states, while Houston has barely started on its massive journey of recovery from Harvey. Two massive earthquakes in Mexico round out the picture. All this in the space of less than a few weeks. A team of our national Federation staff was on call and available to the affected communities through the Rosh Hashanah holiday. The national JFNA Emergency Committee has met several times since the onset of Hurricane Harvey and will continue meeting actively over the weeks to come.

The response across our system has been terrific. But, it is clear that significantly greater resources will be needed to address the scope of needs across all the affected areas.


Hurricane Harvey – Through the combined efforts of our Federations and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, a total of $14 million has been committed as of last week. This includes $5.8 million raised in Houston, $5 million from Federations across North America, $2.2 million from national Jewish foundations, and $1 million from the government of Israel.  DONATE NOW.

Hurricane Irma – The response across the system has been more muted – a consequence of the timing right on the heels of Harvey. As of just before the chag, a total of $205,000 was committed, either to the national donation site or allocations from communities. DONATE NOW.

Specific Responses to Disasters

Hurricane Maria – JFNA’s Emergency Committee and Network staff are closely tracking the impact of the storm on the Caribbean Islands. In particular, JFNA procured 200 generators and made arrangements to ship them to the Hebrew Congregation in St. Thomas as soon as possible and are working on additional supplies urgently needed by the community, and they are staying in contact with the synagogues in Puerto Rico to assess and respond to their needs. Our partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, is working to respond to the needs in other Caribbean nations affected by the various hurricanes and is increasing their efforts in the wake of this storm.

Mexico Earthquakes – IsraAid and the Israel Defense Forces have deployed to Mexico to provide immediate assistance in the wake of the devastating earthquakes. The IsraAID team deployed alongside an IDF delegation of 70 soldiers and officers.  The JDC is working in partnership with Cadena, Mexico, a local NGO, to provide assistance, as well. JDC is opening an emergency fund for the Mexico situation. DONATE NOW.

Hurricane Jose – This hurricane grazed the northeast coast. While there have been reports of some coastal flooding, we are not yet aware of any specific impacts on Jewish communities.

Hurricane Harvey – JFNA’s Emergency Committee approved grants this past week to the small communities in Beaumont/Port Arthur and Galveston to assist local families affected by the hurricane. Intensive work continues with Houston to help the community mobilize a comprehensive response to their needs, estimated in the $30M range.

May we, in this new year and always, have the ability to bring in light and strive to be one connected, committed, global Jewish people.