On November 7-8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, made landfall in the Philippines. The storm came on the heels of an October earthquake that had affected more than 3 million people and disrupted life for more than 14 million Filipinos (nearly 15% of the total population). According to UNICEF, nearly half of the 3.9 million people who were displaced were children. In the wake of the storm, the Union for Reform Judaism, its congregations, and their members rallied to support the storm’s victims. As with all disasters, the Reform Movement works to quickly identify recovery experts and groups that are fulfilling the direst needs in line with our values and beliefs. Our grant funding seeks to address short-, medium-, and long-term rebuilding in a responsible and sustainable manner.
This d’var was given by Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Senior Vice President of the URJ, on Friday night at the 2013 URJ Biennial.
I grew up in Southern California, just a few hours from here, and believe it or not, I spent a chunk of my early teens surfing waves on the beaches of Orange County. A flat, calm Pacific Ocean spelled disappointment, even boredom.
But most weeks, there were
This Biennial is almost over but we’re just getting started. What a humbling responsibility you have placed on my shoulders; what a tremendous opportunity we have to shape the Jewish future with imagination, courage and commitment.