Soliciting Assistance for Massive Tsunami Disaster
International Society for Sephardic Progress mobilized fund raising
relief efforts for victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunamis.
Making direct contact with the Jewish community and fellow Sephardim
and in cooperation with Bank of America, the ISFSP aims to raise
funds which will help in recovery activities.
the disaster affected areas, the local Jewish community has set
a crisis centers where survivors can call home, have a free meal
or receive funds for new clothing and medical help. Over 540 Israelis
have been said to be missing and local reports say there is panic,
grief and confusion, amid terrible destruction and frantic calls
from Israel and other countries, of relatives trying to locate
their loved ones. A Belgian Jewish couple reportedly lost their
11-month-old son in the disaster. Jews from Israel, Mexico, South
African, Australian and New Zealand are missing.
to Rabbi Yosef Kantor, director of Chabad activities in Thailand,
hundreds of Jews have turned to him looking for some form or another
of assistance. Rabbi Kantor has retained a dozen rabbinical students
who were scheduled to leave the region on Sunday, to help assist
in the immediate relief efforts that include food provisions,
lodging accommodations, help in locating their friends and loved
the time of this writing over 75,000 have been killed and the
death toll is expected to climb higher. President George Bush
called the tsunami "A terrible disaster beyond our comprehension"
and called on Americans to help by donating funds. It will take
months to recover from this operation and funds are needed desperately.
ISFSP has set up a fund through Bank of America. Those wishing
to help can make checks payable to the ISFSP and in the memo area
write 'Tsunami Fund.' Checks may be sent to Bank of America 20
Alexandria Blvd Oviedo, FL 32765-9161. Attn. Tsunami Fund. 100%
of donations will be sent to the Jewish communities in the diaster
area. The ISFSP has made arrangements for those wanting to make
a donation using a credit card to contact the American Jewish
Joint Distribution Committee at www.jdc.org or call 800-889-7146.
addition to fund raising efforts, the ISFSP has asked that fellow
Sephardic organizations and the rabbis in the Sephardic community
discuss the need for assistance with their congregations. ISFSP
Executive Director Shelomo Alfassa said in a statement, "We
appeal to our fellow Jews to join us by giving generously for
the victims of the Asian Tsunami, an event which has affected
millions of people including those in the local Jewish community.
In a time of disaster, there is no division-we are all one."
International Society for Sephardic Progress is a Jewish
agency developed to serve the Sephardic community--the descendants
of the Jews of historic Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the
Levant who share both common religious and cultural bonds. Although
a Sephardic organization, the ISFSP is a Jewish advocacy agency
first and foremost.