(JTA) — Jewish federations throughout North America have raised $1.35 million to help Japan recover from last month’s massive earthquake and tsunami.
The federations’ Japan, Hawaii and Pacific Relief Fund, opened immediately following the earthquake and resultant tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, has collected the money to support relief and recovery efforts in the damaged areas.
The Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella group of the federation movement, has directly raised more than $219,565 through online, mobile and mailed donations.
Several individual federations also have opened funds, which have yielded nearly $680,000 in combined donations. As of April 8, the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the UJA-Federation of New York have raised more than $125,000 each, while the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s fundraising has totaled more than $100,000.
The Emergency Committee of The Jewish Federations of North America voted April 8 to allocate $125,000 of the funds raised to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which is supporting victims on the ground in Japan through local humanitarian organizations. The allocation is on top of an allocation last month of $135,000.
The committee also made an allocation to the Israeli humanitarian umbrella group IsraAID to support its efforts on the ground, specifically in the area of creating child-friendly spaces.
“The Jewish Federations stand ready to respond to disaster with the strength of our collective action, to ensure that the funds contributed by generous donors are put to work in the most effective way possible,” said Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. “Working in partnership with our trusted overseas partner, JDC, we can be sure that these funds will have the greatest impact where they are needed most in Japan."