Reform Movement Allocates $125k for Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts



On November 7-8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, made landfall in the Philippines. The storm came on the heels of an October earthquake that had affected more than 3 million people and disrupted life for more than 14 million Filipinos (nearly 15% of the total population). According to UNICEF, nearly half of the 3.9 million people who were displaced were children.

In the wake of the storm, the Union for Reform Judaism, its congregations, and their members rallied to support the storm’s victims. As with all disasters, the Reform Movement works to quickly identify recovery experts and groups that are fulfilling the direst needs in line with our values and beliefs. Our grant funding seeks to address short-, medium-, and long-term rebuilding in a responsible and sustainable manner.

The URJ’s response to Typhoon Haiyan has also been coordinated with the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief, a conglomerate of Jewish organizations active in international disaster response. Here are some of the organizations we have supported so far:

  • UNICEF, $75,000
    UNICEF, the United Nations’ International Children’s Economic Fund, established itself as a leader in the recovery effort following the storm. This grant will provide tents for displaced families, school materials, and access to clean water during the recovery period, which many expect to exceed two years.
  • IsraAID, $20,000
    IsraAID sends medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, from Israel into disaster zones around the world. Following the Typhoon, IsraAID was one of the first groups to establish a presence in Ipil, a coastal town on 65,000. IsraAID’s staff set up clinics and delivered life-saving medicines and treatment to hundreds of families.
  • International Medical Corps, $20,000
    Following the storm, International Medical Corps placed mobile medical units in the towns of Guiuan, Iloilo, Roxas, and Tanauan. These medical units and their staff provide general care and specialize in reproductive health care. In addition, IMC staff is providing immunizations to children, midwife training, and is prepared to deploy a rapid response to outbreak of infectious disease.
  • Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief, $10,000
    The Reform Movement has made an allocation to the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief, which will, in turn, provide relief grants from the international Jewish community. You can learn more about the coordinated efforts of JCDR on their website.
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Isaac Nuell

About Isaac Nuell

Isaac Nuell is the Religious Action Center's Manager of Congregational Social Action and oversees much of our program support, resource development, and strategic partnerships. In this position, he also serves as the URJ's Disaster Relief Coordinator. Isaac joined the RAC staff as a conference planner in 2009, and spent the three years prior working with NFTY, the Reform Movement's youth organization.

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