Chilean Jews mobilize to help earthquake, fire victims

(JTA) — The Jewish community of Chile is sending truckloads of supplies to victims of fire raging in the central port city of Valparaiso.

The goods being prepared by the community will leave in seven trucks from the capital Santiago on Thursday, the community’s president, Gerardo Gorodischer, told the Agencia Judía de Noticias. They include clothes, food, furniture and construction material.

The trucks are scheduled to be offloaded at the government’s disaster management center near Valparaiso, according to the website of the Jewish community, known locally by the acronym CJCh.

Fifteen people have been killed and hundreds have been injured in the fire that erupted Saturday. The blaze, which comes two weeks after an earthquake struck Chile’s north, has consumed at least 2,900 homes. The April 1 quake killed six and led to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands.

The Jewish community opened a fundraising campaign for earthquake victims and set up an aid committee for fire victims, the community’s website said.

Among the thousands of firemen at Valparaiso are volunteers from the Bomba Israel-15th Company, a not-for profit organization of Jewish and pro-Israel firefighters.

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