Why JAA for Emergency Appeals

Why give to a Jewish organisation in the time of a major humanitarian crisis?

Tragically, we live in a world where natural disasters cause great death and destruction, destroying lives, families, communities and cultures. At times, a major catastrophe really shakes us to our core. The monsoons, tsunamis, bushfires and floods that seem to occur with increasing regularity in our region, leave millions of people destitute and desperate. The near-instantaneous reporting of these disasters, coupled with the 24-hour news cycle, leave many of us rattled at the plight of victims, their suffering affecting us deeply.

In an uplifting display of our shared humanity, many agencies rally to support those in need by launching appeals, sometimes only hours after the event. A number of these wonderful organisations operate within the heart of the catastrophe zone, providing invaluable, life-saving resources.

Jewish Aid Australia strongly believes that there should be an official and organised Jewish Australian response to major disasters. We aim to rally the Jewish community to give generously in times of disaster and aspire to be an effective and efficient conduit between our community and those suffering.

The positive effect of this function is twofold. First and foremost, vital funds are raised swiftly by our community to help those in immediate need. Jews are often at the forefront of philanthropy and giving, and disaster relief is no different. The second positive effect of giving through a Jewish community organisation is that it provides an opportunity to shine our collective light and remind the world that we are, as we have always been, an engaged, generous and proactive contributor to the common fate of mankind. By galvanising our funds in this way, our giving is magnified.

Whilst Jewish Aid is not “on the ground” in disaster-affected areas, we have forged strong partnerships and relationships with a number of groups that are, especially CARE Australia. Some relief organisations fall prey to political agendas and biases, sometimes taking unfavourable stances towards Israel. Others have religious proselytising agendas that are not consistent with the vision and mission of Jewish Aid.

For that reason, Jewish Aid conducts stringent due diligence on any organisation towards which it directs funds, and will only work with those that are apolitical and do not hold views, or act in ways, that are antipathetic to the welfare of Israel. Jewish Aid is proud to serve this important function and hopes to do so for years to come.

Jewish Aid has launched several appeals over the years, raising $450 000 during the Victorian Bushfires in 2009, $230 000 for victims of the Tsunami and $140 000 for the Haiti Earthquake. By giving as a community we are able to direct the funding towards a relief project that resonates with the Jewish community and will have long lasting impact in the local community.
“Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbour” – JAA emergency appeals ensure we take action.

To donate to the Jewish Aid Australia Typhoon Hayain Appeal visit jewishaid.org.au/typhoon/

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