The community’s leading humanitarian charity has launched an appeal to helpWorld Jewish Relief has called on British Jews to help those who have “lost everything” after two devastating earthquakes in Mexico, saying the local Jewish community there had been “struck by tragedy”.
Senior Sephardi, Masorti, Liberal and Reform rabbis joined the Chief Rabbi in backing WJR’s appeal this week, as the charity sought money for shelter, emergency accommodation, hygiene and essential household items.
Meanwhile, Young World Jewish Relied planned fundraising drinks in London for young professionals this Sunday evening, with tickets priced at £10.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed… who shall live and who shall die, who in good time, and who by an untimely death, …who by earthquake…”. These chilling words, which sit as the centrepiece of our High Holy Day liturgy are more evocative than ever as we read of the terrible devastation and loss of life in Mexico.”
He added: “As the recovery effort in Mexico gets underway, every one of us can now play a part in helping to ease the pain of the tens of thousands of people who have lost everything.”
Rabbi Joseph Dweck of the Spanish & Portuguese Sephardi community said: “It is at times like this that the generous support from people around the world can make the difference between devastation and hope. WJR brings support and practical help for the future. With my blessings for security, peace and hope.”
Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said: “As Jews celebrate the ‘birthday of the world’ at Rosh haShanah, the tragic earthquake in Mexico reminds us that the natural world can sometimes deliver crushing blows to human beings.”
Senior Masorti Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg said: “On Yom Kippur the High Priest would say a special prayer that peoples’ homes should not become their graves. A devastating earthquake in Mexico has buried hundreds in the houses which they saw as their refuge and place of safety. We must come to their help.”
Organisations supporting WJR’s Mexico Earthquake Appeal include the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, JW3, London Jewish Forum, Tzedek, the Union of Jewish Students and the Zionist Youth Council, comprising the Jewish youth movements.
WJR chief executive Paul Anticoni said: “Jewish tradition teaches us that while we can’t stop natural disasters, we can choose how we respond to them. Please help us support the people of Mexico.”
- Donate online via www.worldjewishrelief.org/mexico or call 0208 736 1250