October 11, 2001--The UAHC today announced that it is giving the first $200,000 of the funds raised to benefit the families of disaster victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks to the September 11th Fund.
The September 11th Fund was established by the United Way and The New York Community Trust to address to meet the immediate and long-term needs of victims, families and communities affected by this disaster.
The UAHC Disaster Relief Fund is a mechanism by which the Reform Movement raises funds for the victims of natural and man-made disasters. In previous years, funds have been raised for the victims of the floods in North Dakota and earthquakes in Central America and to help rebuild the churches that were destroyed in arson attacks a few years ago.
More than 3,000 donations have been made to the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund since it was activated to assist the victims of this tragedy, and contributions continue to pour into the UAHC's New York offices. In addition, there are congregations that have been collecting the funds to send to the UAHC at one time.
"Our primary concern is that the funds be distributed to those who are most in need," said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. "We have chosen to give this first grant to the September 11th Fund because it meets this criteria and is working to coordinate grants from many organizations."
Yoffie said decisions as to how the remainder of the funds collected is to be distributed would be made over the next few months by the officers of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, who are charged with investigating the various options. The UAHC will not be giving grants to individuals directly but will be giving the funds collected to other organizations. Key factors, Yoffie said, will be the efficiency of the organization, its ability to maximize the donations for the best use with a minimum of overhead, and whether the funds will reach those most in need.
The UAHC Disaster Relief Fund will continue to accept donations on-line at https://www.uahc.org/relief/sept11.html. Checks may be sent to the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund, 633 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017.