The following is excerpted from updates provided by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) EVP, Shira Hutt
Last week, we provided immediate humanitarian relief for the Jewish Federations of Lee/Charlotte, Naples and Sarasota to supply housing, clothing, transportation and food to those who were affected by Hurricane Ian. In collaboration with the South Florida Federations, we fed close to 1000 people at a Yom Kippur kosher break-fast. Another allocation was to a Jewish senior living center in Sarasota that took in 200 evacuees.
Our hearts were also with the Ukrainian refugees during the High Holy Day season. Hundreds of refugees in Poland enjoyed special activities and educational programming with Jewish Federation volunteers, working in partnership with JDC and the Office of the Chief Rabbi of Poland. Refugees also enjoyed a special holiday concert of songs of hope, performed by Jewish Federations' volunteer Yuri Vedenyapin, who teaches Yiddish at McGill University. We thank our seven volunteers who spent the High Holy Days in Poland ensuring that refugees would be able to celebrate the holidays.
Our humanitarian efforts remain in full force, whether to take care of Ukrainian refugees, of Ethiopian Jews making aliyah, or of other Jews in need throughout the world.
The San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) continues to lead engagement efforts with administration at UC Berkeley following reports that the law school’s student groups created "Jewish-free zones" by pushing to ban Zionists from their organizations. Prior to Yom Kippur, our Israel Action Network hosted a briefing with the JCRC CEO Tye Gregory and Hillel’s Vice President of University Initiatives and Legal Affairs Mark Rotenberg to discuss ongoing local efforts, offer a national perspective, and make action recommendations.
Also this week, Jewish Federations applauded the House of Representatives passage of the Mental Health Matters Act. The legislation seeks to strengthen enforcement of the federal mental health parity law and to provide grants for school-based mental health resources.
Jewish Federations praised the Biden Administration for authorizing 125,000 refugees to be admitted to the US for fiscal year 2023, maintaining the same level as for 2022. The Presidential Determination on Refugees also increased the refugee cap from Europe and Central Asia to 15,000, up from 10,000, as a result of the war in Ukraine.
A single week's impact recap shows a glimpse of the breadth of Federation collective impact across the many facets of Jewish life.
Thank you to our many local supporters who enable Federations to provide help when, where, and how needed when our people, communities, and future -- worldwide -- are at risk.