Pittsburgh’s Federation contributes to Haiti earthquake response
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Haiti earthquakeTikkun olam

Pittsburgh’s Federation contributes to Haiti earthquake response

So far, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has given $5000 via an emergency grant to help victims of the earthquake.

Afya’s first shipment of nearly 1,300 pounds of medical supplies worth $84,000 left on a JetBlue flight on Aug. 17. (Photo courtesy of the Afya Foundation)
Afya’s first shipment of nearly 1,300 pounds of medical supplies worth $84,000 left on a JetBlue flight on Aug. 17. (Photo courtesy of the Afya Foundation)

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has announced a $5,000 emergency grant to help victims of the earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti on Aug. 14. The funds will flow through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which already has supplies on the way to Haiti, according to a press release.

“In 2010, I had the privilege of traveling to Haiti with a national group of Federation leaders to witness the destruction from that earthquake and our collective response,” said Jeffrey Finkelstein, the Federation’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Once again, we are able to provide this critical support to assist our overseas partner organizations on the ground.”

JDC is providing medical supplies — including wound care, surgical instruments, fluids, IV starters, sutures, gloves, masks, face shields, and clean linens — to local hospitals. Working through its longtime partner, the Afya Foundation, JDC is shipping materials to a hospital in Aquin. As the extent of the damage unfolds, JDC, which has worked in Haiti since 2010, will continue to assess emerging needs.

“We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of life in Haiti and send our prayers to a people and nation in mourning yet again,” said JDC CEO Ariel Zwang in a prepared statement.

“It’s all the more fitting, and poignant, that we are doing this work during the Jewish month of Elul, when we engage in introspection and work to mend the broken parts of our personal and collective lives,” Zwang added.

Pittsburgh’s Federation is among several Federations in North America providing aid to Haiti, according to the press release.

The Pittsburgh Federation’s grant is part of long-time support for disaster relief; the Federation also provided assistance for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. PJC

Toby Tabachnick

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