Reform Jewish Movement Distributes $1.5 Million in Disaster Relief

Grants Made from Donations to the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund




"Your generous gift gives new meaning to the sentiment, 'We are all New Yorkers."
- Daniel Greenberg, President and Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society

(March 18, New York, NY)-The Reform Movement distributed an additional $500,000 in grants to organizations helping those affected by September 11, bringing the total amount donated by the Reform Movement to $1.5 million.

In the days following September 11, the Reform Movement activated the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by the tragedy. More than 5,500 donations totaling over $1.5 million have been made to the fund by individuals, corporations, and Reform congregations. "The tremendous outpouring of support for the victims of the September 11 disasters exemplifies the spirit of giving set out in the Torah, where kol n'div lev - all those whose hearts moved them - donated towards the building of the mishkan (the sanctuary). Then, as now, the generosity of the community overwhelmed the communal officials and more than met the immediate needs, allowing them, as us today, to address future needs, as well," said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the UAHC.

In October, the first $200,000 from the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund was given to the September 11th Fund, which was established by the United Way and The New York Community Trust to meet the immediate and long-term needs of victims, families and communities affected by this disaster ( see related press release). At the Biennial Convention in December, the Reform Movement announced eight recipients of the second round of UAHC grants, with each selected organization receiving $100,000 donations ( see related press release).

In its third round of grants, the Reform Movement has selected nine organizations to receive donations:

  • The Legal Aid Society of New York , which has provided direct legal assistance to those affected by the September 11th disaster. Society clients include low-income workers who lost their jobs in the World Trade Center or in businesses in lower Manhattan, as well as others who lost employment or who were dependent on government assistance that was disrupted because of the disaster. (Grant Amount: $100,000)
  • Survivors' Fund of the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region , an organization created for the survivors and families of the Pentagon attacks. This organization focuses on long-term recovery, offering assistance with education, rehabilitative medicine, mental health services, employment training and general family support. (Grant Amount: $100,000)
  • Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (Seedco) , which has created the Lower Manhattan Small Business and Workforce Retention Project to help affected small businesses and their workers stay and prosper in Lower Manhattan. (Grant Amount: $75,000)
  • Safe Horizon , one of New York City's leading providers of victim assistance, advocacy and violence prevention services. (Grant Amount: $50,000)
  • Help USA , which is providing job training and placement services to low-income, displaced workers. (Grant Amount: $50,000)
  • The Children's Health Fund , which has implemented a mobile medical program to provide free mental health care services to children and families in New York City (Grant Amount: $50,000)
  • Opportunities For A Better Tomorrow , a job training and placement agency focused on finding displaced workers new jobs. (Grant Amount: $30,000)
  • The New York Association for New Americans (NYANA) , which assists refugees and immigrants, their families, their sponsors, the companies that employ them, other institutions that serve them, and the communities in which they live. Since September 11, NYANA has been involved with immigrants' issues and is working to implement a program for South Asian clients who faced discrimination following the terrorist attacks. (Grant Amount: $25,000)
  • The Stonewall Community Foundation , which has established the September 11 Gay & Lesbian Family Fund to help surviving partners of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons who were lost in the attacks of September 11. (Grant Amount: $20,000)

These organizations extend their thanks to the thousands of Reform Jews across North America who contributed so generously to this important effort. As Daniel Greenberg, President and Attorney-in Chief of The Legal Aid Society, noted, "You will help us reach thousands of New Yorkers who were affected by the events of September 11, and to help them solve problems in housing, medical care, and other benefits, using the law as a tool. Your generous gift gives new meaning to the sentiment, 'We are all New Yorkers.'"