As the scale of the devastation caused by former Hurricane Harvey begins to emerge, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago is responding with $100,000 in grants to partner agencies, the first round of distributions from its Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The funds include $50,000 to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, for its local relief efforts; $30,000 to the Emergency Committee of the Jewish Federations of North America, which will go to JFNA's national collective fund supporting relief efforts in Louisiana and Texas; and $20,000 to NECHAMA: Jewish Response to Disaster, to help it establish its Texas relief and rebuilding operation.
Further grants will follow as specific needs and responses are identified. Distributions are reviewed and determined by a committee that includes JUF Board Chair Michael Zaransky and Board Members Andy Hochberg and Ann-Louise Kleper. Kleper also serves on the JFNA Emergency Committee.
In its first five days, the Federation's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund has raised $236,440 from 943 gifts. All administrative costs are covered by Federation, so 100 percent of the money donated goes to those impacted by the disaster and the agencies aiding them.
Contributions to the Fund can be made at www.juf.org/HurricaneHarvey, by calling (312) 444-2869, or by sending a check payable to the Jewish Federation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to 30 S. Wells Street, #3015, Chicago, IL 60606.
In addition to Federation serving as a conduit for financial support, counselors at Jewish Child & Family Services are helping the Jewish Family Service in Houston staff its "warm-line," which provides support for those dealing with the emotional stress of the storm's impact. And the Federation and its TOV Volunteer Network are preparing for likely volunteer missions from Chicago that will provide relief and support on the ground in Louisiana and Texas.