Union for Reform Judaism Collecting Funds for Flood Relief
June 18, 2008With floods devastating Iowa cities and towns, and swollen rivers threatening Illinois and Missouri communities, the Union for Reform Judaism has sent a call to its members to respond. While the full scope of the damage will not be known for some time, the Union for Reform Judaism is already receiving donations to help those who will need assistance to restore their homes and their livelihoods.
Our members trust the Union to quickly evaluate where the need is, and to disburse funds appropriately, said Rabbi Daniel Freelander, vice president of the Union. They also know that the Union absorbs overhead costs other than credit card fees, so the full amount of their donation will be used to help those in need.
Rabbi Freelander noted there are several Reform synagogues in the affected areas of Iowa: TempleJudah in Cedar Rapids, TempleEmanuel in Davenport, Temple Bnai Jeshurun in Des Moines, Temple Beth El in Dubuque, and Agudas Achim Congregation in Iowa City. And, as the flood waters move down the Mississippi River, many more congregations and their members can expect to be affected. (See www.urj.org/relief/floods for updates.) Funds collected by the Union will be used to assist Reform congregations that incur uninsured losses, as well as for general needs of the community at large.
In past years, the Union has collected and dispersed funds for emergencies including the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, the December 2004 Tsunami and other natural disasters. Information about fund distributions are online at www.urj.org/relief.
The Union for Reform Judaism is the synagogue arm of the Reform Movement in North America, and represents 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 congregations across the United States and Canada. Union programs and services include youth camps, adult education opportunities, music and book publishing, Outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC.