Jewish charities have launched emergency appeals for those affected by the Nepal earthquake, among them World Jewish Relief, Chabad-Lubavitch and Magen David Adom UK.
Around the world, Jewish groups this week mobilised to raise funds, with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee among the charities leading efforts in the United States.
In the UK, religious leader leant their support to local appeals, with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis urging support for the victims “to alleviate their suffering, to help rebuild shattered lives and a devastated country”.
Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner added: “The Talmud teaches us that by saving one life, it is as if we have saved an entire world. I urge our community to reach out. We must do what we can to alleviate the suffering.”
Charity heads were at pains to stress the scale of the devastation. “This is a catastrophic natural disaster,” said WJR chief executive Paul Anticoni. “Disaster is widespread and we must respond immediately.”
He added: “As Jews we feel a deep responsibility to help those beyond our community at this time of huge crisis. We call on the British Jewish community to dig deep as usual to do all we can to help.”
By Tuesday afternoon, WJR had raised £50,000, after support from all the major British denominations, while MDA-UK said it had received over £5,000 in the first 12 hours of its appeal from about 100 people.
“The need out there right now is phenomenal,” said MDA’s Daniel Berger. “It costs a lot to send paramedics out – the community is really stepping up.”
Chabad-Lubavitch is also appealing through the Nepal Jewish Relief Fund, after supplies ran out when dozens of Jewish and Israeli tourists took shelter in the Chabad Centre in Kathmandu.
Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz have said thousands of stranded people are now in “dire need” of emergency provisions, as they try to connect with their loved ones.
“With food low and difficulties obtaining food locally, we need to bring food from out of the country,” said Chani. “We need funds to make this possible.”
WJR’s Nepal Emergency Appeal: www.wjr.org.uk/nepal or 0208 736 1250
MDA’s appeal: www.mdauk.org or 020 8201 5900
Chabad’s Nepal Jewish Relief Fund: www.chabad.org or 0208 800 0022