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October 10, 2015 | 27th Tishrei 5776

Contact: Emily Grotta
UAHC Department of Communications

UAHC Distributes $1.2 Million To Help
Those Affected By September 11th Disaster

Grant Made from Donations Given to the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund

(December 5, 2001, Boston, MA)The Reform Movement today presented $100,000 to the Uniformed Firefighters' Association Widows and Children's Fund, part of the more than $1.2 million distributed to help those affected by the September 11 tragedy. The funds were raised by contributions to the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund from Reform Jews across North America.

The presentation came as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations presented its highest honor the Eisendrath "Bearer of Light" Award for Service to the World Community to the New York City firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers who labored around the clock to save lives and recover the fallen in its aftermath of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Members of FDNY Battalion 8, all of whom lost friends and comrades on September 11th, accepted the donation.

"I know that I will never look at a firefighter in quite the same way again," aid Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president of the UAHC. "Wherever we were on September 11, our souls were lifted by your courage and our hearts grieved with yours as your losses were recorded," he told the firefighters at the Biennial. "We thank you for what you have done and what you continue to do for us day in and day out. Your bravery has become part of our collective national legacy. Your bravery dignifies us all."

The UFA Widows and Children's Fund was established to accept donations for the benefit of the wives, children, and dependents of UFA members who have died in active service, providing help and scholarships to firefighters' families.

The UAHC Disaster Relief Fund is the mechanism by which the Reform Movement raises money for the victims of natural and man-made disasters. In previous years, donations have been made to the victims of floods in North Dakota and earthquakes in Central America, and to help rebuild churches destroyed by arson in the American South. It was activated in the days following September 11, and, for the first time, donations were accepted online at

In October, the first $200,000 was given to the September 11th Fund (see related press release). The following funds will also receive $100,000 donations:

  • The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, created to provide education assistance for post-secondary study to financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled in the attacks;
  • The New York City Coalition Against Hunger, an organization committed to decreasing the number of hungry in New York City through public outreach and community organization, which has helped meet the increased demand at food kitchens and pantries after the attacks, as a result of the thousands of working poor who suddenly became unemployed;
  • The New York Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund, which provides funds to families of fallen police officers and firefighters, and distributes an annual check to each of the surviving families;
  • Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100, a New York union which counts among its members 43 who died in the attack, and more than 1,500 who lost their jobs due to the destruction of restaurants and hotels within and nearby the World Trade Center;
  • The Robin Hood Foundation, which is helping meet the needs of poor and lower-income victims of the World Trade Center attack, including the families of the lost and injured, the families of lost firefighters and police officers, and all others impacted by the economic consequences of September 11;
  • Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (Seedco), which is helping the small businesses in Lower Manhattan and their workers that were hurt by the terrorist attack;
  • Service Employees International Union, a New York union that represents the maintenance workers at the World Trade Center who lost their jobs in the attack.

The UAHC Disaster Relief Fund will continue to accept donations on-line at Checks may be sent to the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund, 633 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017.

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The Union of American Hebrew Congregations is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, representing over 1.5 million Reform Jews in over 900 congregations. UAHC services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programming, and the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC.


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