World Jewish Relief will provide emergency shelter kits and essential non-food items as part of its response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The number of people killed has now risen above 2,000 and more than 800 are still missing after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the island on the 28th September. More than 67,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed by the earthquake which in some areas turned the ground to liquid in a process called ‘liquefaction’. People are still sleeping outside and access to food, water and medical assistance is limited.
Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief’s Chief Executive, said: “The post bag has been full this week as people have sent in donations and we have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support from the UK Jewish community. This enables us to launch an effective response and help people whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.”
World Jewish Relief will be working with a trusted local partner in Indonesia to provide help to people in two of the areas most badly affected – in the region of Sigi on the outskirts of Palu and in the region of Donggala. The partner has already been able to access these areas and will be able to scale up its response with the help of World Jewish Relief. World Jewish Relief’s Humanitarian Programmes Manager will be flying out to Indonesia to help coordinate its response with local partners.
The UK’s Jewish humanitarian agency will provide shelter kits suitable for critical emergencies and includes items such as blankets, mattresses, flashlights and basic tool kits. It will also look to supply non-food items that are essential for people who have lost their homes and all their belongings and may include nappies, clothes for babies and children, sanitary products, adult clothing and underwear for women and girls.
Senior Rabbis have given their support to World Jewish Relief’s Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Appeal. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “There can be no more sobering reminder of human vulnerability than the harrowing images from Indonesia. Once again, World Jewish Relief is providing us with a vehicle for offering support to those in desperate need. Please help in any way you can.”
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, said: “Please give generously to World Jewish Relief in support of those who are suffering the effects of the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Our prayers say, ‘as God supports the needy when they call, may we respond with generosity and compassion.’ Let’s make these words real with our actions. We must respond to those who will need help rebuilding their lives and do all we can to alleviate their suffering and bring hope.”
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of MasortiJudaism, said: “On Yom Kippur we pray that the homes of the people of Sharon should not become their graves.Nobody’s home should become their grave. Yet this is what has happened in Sulawesi. We must reach out in our hearts and prayers to the families whose lives have been devastated, and offer what practical help we can.”
Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi & Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, said: “'As we Jews leave the temporary but ironic frailty of our sukkot, World Jewish Relief is once again at the forefront of putting our Jewish values into practice. The tsunami in Indonesia is devastating for its victims and it is a Jewish moral imperative to respond.”
Donations can be made via our Disaster Fund page.