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September 2, 2014 | 7th Elul 5774

Help in a Time of Cholera:The Reform Jewish Movement Continues to Respond to Crisis in Haiti

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), in partnership with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), has announced an emergency grant to Partners In Health to address the cholera epidemic in Haiti.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2010 -- The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), in partnership with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), has announced an emergency grant to Partners In Health to address the cholera epidemic in Haiti.

"Prevention and treatment for thousands will be accelerated as a result of this grant," said Partners in Health's Vice President for Institutional Partnerships Susan Sayers. "The Reform Jewish Community is making a real difference." 

Since the tragic earthquake that devastated the western coast of Haiti, the country has been wracked with challenges – but none more potentially lethal than the spread of cholera.  The recent cholera outbreak in rural Haiti has led to well over 200 deaths. The number of reported cases now surpasses 4,000 and continues to rise. This outbreak is exponentially more dangerous as more than 1.5 million Haitians are living in crowded displaced persons camps with questionable sanitation and minimal access to health care, highly vulnerable to the spread of this infectious disease. The need is immediate and acute.  

The Union for Reform Judaism has already raised more than $1.2 million for relief in Haiti, since the earthquake hit last January. The WUPJ Haiti relief efforts have been coordinated with its regional affiliates, the Union of Jewish Congregations of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Latin American Council of the WUPJ. Learn more about where funds are being allocated.
"The current crisis reminds us of the suffering of the many who lack basic resources.  By this small gesture, the International Progressive Jewish community demonstrates to our brothers and sisters in Haiti they are neither alone nor forgotten,"  said Chairman of the World Union for Progressive Judaism Steven M. Bauman.

"Although the earthquake is no longer in the daily news, thousands of Haitians are still suffering," said URJ's Chief Program Officer Rabbi Elliott Kleinman. "I am proud that the Reform Movement will not let them be forgotten."

Partners in Health (PIH) is a nonprofit organization that believes all individuals – even the most impoverished – should have access to quality primary health care, education and basic social and economic needs. Founded in 1987 in Canage, Haiti by Dr. Paul Farmer, PIH has and continues to play a critical role in providing care to the poorest Haitian communities. With a widespread on-the-ground rural health network in Haiti, PIH is moving quickly to address the cholera outbreak through treatment and prevention measures. PIH is taking a three-pronged approach to address this epidemic through treatment, community outreach and education and building a long-term solution for the need for clean water. 

The Union for Reform Judaism connects Reform communities in North America with the collective ideas, experience, and expertise of over 900 congregations across the country. The URJ represents an estimated 1.5 million Jews who share a vision of Jewish life in the 21st century that is both caring and inclusive.  Together under the URJ umbrella, Jews are able to connect with communities, governments, and leaders to make a meaningful impact on spiritual, ethical, and social justice issues. The World Union for Progressive Judaism is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1,200 congregations with 1.8 million members in more than 45 countries.

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