Natural disasters, terror, violence, and hatred shatter millions of lives each year. Since 2007, UJA has invested more than $81 million to bring urgent relief to those on the ground and aid long term recovery. Our essential relationships with hundreds of nonprofits worldwide make us agile and ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.
Crises we’ve responded to since the new millennium include: the second intifada in Israel, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and Hurricane Sandy here in our own backyard. In the fall of 2017, we led a substantial relief effort in the wake of the hurricanes in Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean
In fall 2018, following the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, UJA’s partners provided emergency medical services, critical supplies, and psychosocial support. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, we supported nonprofits that helped in the massive clean-up and provided trauma treatment.
Most recently, in the wake of the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, UJA has taken concrete steps to show our solidarity with the shattered Pittsburgh Jewish community and ensure the continued safety of our local institutions.
- Security: Long a priority, we’re continuing to help network nonprofits navigate the process of accessing federal, state, and city funding to ensure the safety of our synagogues, day schools, JCCs, and other centers of Jewish life. Additionally, we’re offering bridge loans to nonprofits that have received security grants but cannot afford to pay for security enhancements upfront while awaiting reimbursement from the government. We have also received $1 million in funding from The Paul E. Singer Foundation to support safety reviews and enhanced precautions at Jewish institutions.
- Counseling: Partners in Caring, a UJA-supported initiative, has deployed mental health professionals to area synagogues, day schools, and community centers. Partners in Caring social workers provide short-term counseling, resources and referrals, and assist with larger awareness and education events.
- #SolidarityShabbat: Exactly one week after the worst act of anti-Semitism in North American history, we demonstrated our resilience and resolve. In partnership with federations across the country, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League, we organized #SolidarityShabbat, showing the world we stand up to hate.
- UJA’s Pittsburgh Solidarity Fund is raising funds to support medical, security, and trauma needs. One hundred percent of all donations will be used to help victims of the attack and the Pittsburgh Jewish community.
Local California Federations are assessing needs, serving as a crisis center for many of their displaced nonprofit partners, and expanding their social service offerings, including an emergency hotline, counseling, housing assistance, and financial and legal support. To support these efforts, the Sacramento Federation and Los Angeles Federation have opened relief funds.
Crisis in Israel
On November 12-13, 2018, as rocked rained down on Israel from Gaza, our primary overseas partners — the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee — were able to jump into action, helping vulnerable populations in the areas under attack. Almost immediately, 19 emergency checks were hand-delivered to the families of those whose homes suffered a direct hit — including the family of a Palestinian contractor who was killed in the living room of the Ashkelon apartment he was staying in. In just 24 hours, the Israel Trauma Coalition, an organization created and supported by UJA, treated over 200 people for trauma.
Keeping Communities Strong
We’re also committed to being there before disaster strikes, supporting Jewish communities around the world so that they’re strong, resilient, stable, and equipped to respond to challenges. That means we’re standing up to anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on college campuses. In Europe, it means we’re helping small Jewish communities shape their future, empowering leaders, building infrastructure, and giving grassroots activists the tools to grow their dreams. From Paris to Budapest to Moscow — we’re proudly helping create vibrant Jewish communities.
Related Nonprofits and Programs
American Jewish Joint Distribution
Israel Trauma Coalition
(Among many others)