Jewish groups announce new Sandy relief


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two Jewish-affiliated groups announced new relief for victims of superstorm Sandy.

The interfaith Isaiah Fund is giving $1 million to low-income urban communities damaged during last October’s hurricane.

Separately, the Jewish Federations of North America announced that the Jim Joseph Foundation awarded it $1 million for subsidies for "Jewish day and congregational schools, Jewish camps, youth volunteer activities, and social service programming needs" in nine communities in New Jersey and Connecticut affected by the storm.

Religious institutions thus far have been excluded from federal relief, although legislation now working its way through Congress would extend such relief to them.

Federations have raised $7.4 million for victims of Sandy.

The Isaiah Fund money is expected to jump-start investment, according to an announcement made last week during a gathering in New York of disaster recovery experts and area community groups.

“After Hurricane Sandy, many of us were focused on meeting immediate critical needs for food, water, clothing and other essentials,” said Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, which houses and manages the Isaiah Fund.

“Our hope is that the $1 million investment announced today can have a deep impact in communities across New York and New Jersey that are still reeling from the effects of Sandy,” he said in a March 6 statement.

The Isaiah Fund was established in 2008 to help those affected by hurricanes Rita and Katrina. It has invested $4 million in New Orleans. Fund members include Jewish institutions such as UJA-Federation of New York and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, as well as non-Jewish faith-based groups.

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